Name: Heather Guffey
Position: Licensed practical nurse
Location: Associates in ENT
First job: Working at Rock City
Best part of the job: "Helping people. We see a lot of different patients but (the doctor I work for) specializes in thyroid. So we have a lot of people coming who are having problems with their thyroid - they're tired, they don't feel well, they've got a nodule and they don't know why, and they're scared - so I just help them. We do work ups in the office. I give them my name and my extension so they can call me if they need anything, especially if they end up having cancer. I try to help them better understand what's going on with them and hopefully it ends with a good outcome. I have a lot of people who say 'Thank you so much, you've been so kind,' and that just brightens my day knowing I've made somebody feel better and more comfortable."
Worst part of the job: "The people who come in that we can't help. We see some patients with certain diagnoses that there's nothing you can do - not that they're going to die, but there's nothing you can do to help them. That is frustrating to me."
What she's learned: "I've learned to listen to people, to actually listen to them and hear what they're saying. Being a nurse, you learn to have a lot of empathy for patients."
How to make a career of it: Get a nursing license. Guffey said she was not trained specifically as an ear, nose and throat nurse, but has learned many skills on the job. She went to nursing school after working in a doctor's office.