“I Try to Be an Example for Others to Follow’”

January 22, 2024

Francisca Chapa in the operating room with technology equipmentFrancisca Chapa has been an essential part of the operating room at STHS McAllen for more than three decades of her 50-plus-year career here. Partly inspired by her high school nurse, she set her sights on a career in nursing. After graduating, Chapa joined what was then McAllen General Hospital and has been here ever since – growing and changing right along with our ever-evolving facility.

During her early years, Chapa worked on “4 East”, caring for orthopedic, surgical and burn patients. She stayed there for 14 years, thanks to her appreciation for their team-centered approach to care.

In 1985, she was one of the nurses who moved to a new, larger building, which we now know as South Texas Health System McAllen. During the early 1990s, Chapa transferred into the OR as an anesthesia tech. She liked it so much that she decided to make it her home department.

“We help the physicians with just about anything they need for each patient,” she says. “Whatever it is, I tell the patient what I am doing and help put them at ease – letting them know I am here for them.”

After more than three decades, Chapa remains part of the OR team and is an essential part of the daily functions of the OR. “I’ve established a lot of routines for what we do,” Chapa says. “I try to be an example for others to follow.”

Her hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. “The team here is very respectful and I feel appreciated,” she says. Her co-workers describe her as dependable, hardworking, loyal, knowledgeable and someone who always has a calm demeanor regardless of the circumstances. “I’m always teaching somebody something and I learn from them, too,” she says.

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When not working, Chapa enjoys spending time with her one son, who is the love of her life.  She adores her two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and is excited to have one more on the way.  While looking forward to retirement someday, Chapa is not quite done at STHS McAllen as she plans on working a few more years.

We thank Francisca Chapa for her decades-long dedication to the surgery department, our facility and, most importantly, her patients.