One Patient's Journey to Land a Hospital Job at Firelands

If there’s one person who understands the definition of “life-changing”, it’s Truc Bui. Just three years ago, Truc was an average guy working as a service manager at a car dealership in Sandusky with a dependable income and consistent schedule. In February 2015, he found himself in the throes of health issues that would open his eyes to a whole different life. A complete life change.

After being diagnosed with appendicitis, Truc was soon in the operating room at Firelands Regional Medical Center for a ruptured appendix. A few days later he was home recovering from surgery, but it wasn’t long before Truc was back in the hospital with a bowel obstruction stemming from the original surgery, requiring an additional three week stay in 3 North at Firelands. This short span of time – a mere four weeks – propelled Truc into a world of change he welcomed with open arms.

“I didn’t feel I had helped anyone or accomplished anything in my career up to that point,” said Truc. “Something was missing. I thought to myself, ‘Firelands is a place I can see myself giving my life to.’” His patient experience left an impression bigger than a positive patient survey or a letter to administration could ever portray.

For both of his hospital stays, Truc saw Dr. Laffay, who regularly checked on Truc to make sure he was not just okay physically, but mentally, too. Dr. Fred Itzkowitz also cared for Truc during his stay. The superior care he received and the staff on 3 North compelled Truc to change his entire career – not just for any employer, but to be employed by Firelands.

“My interaction with everyone – the nursing team, orderlys, even housekeeping – it was unbelievable,” said Truc. “My surgeon, Dr. Laffay, was awesome. I was there during March Madness, and Dr. Laffay would come to my room and sit and watch with me for 15 minutes or so, keeping me company.”

Every person he came into contact with took hold in Truc’s heart. He knew he was meant to pursue a hospital job and a long term healthcare career, and he wanted it to be at Firelands Regional Medical Center. That’s when Truc quit his job at the car dealership, applied to the Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing, and began working as an Orderly and Unit Coordinator on 3 North. Truc now works with some of the same people who cared for him three years ago, and he couldn’t be happier.

“The 3 North crew is phenomenal,” said Truc. “Working with them reinforces what healthcare is all about. It constantly enhances my motivation.” 

“My first impression of Truc during the interview process was that he had an extraordinary amount of compassion toward helping people in their time of need,” said Sharon McDowell, BSN, RN,CCRN,OCN, nurse director of 3 North. “Truc has learned quickly and takes excellent care of our patients.”

Truc’s voice audibly brightens when he talks about what it’s like to work in the nursing department at Firelands. He raves about the team atmosphere where everyone comes together to work towards the same goals. He says he genuinely enjoys coming to work.

“By the time I leave, I’m exhausted,” said Truc. “But at the same time, I leave with renewed energy. Any bad days are completely overshadowed by the knowledge that my patients are being discharged better than they were when I first saw them.”

In terms of his career change, Truc says he has no regrets, despite his new, more intense schedule and the uncertainty for his future. He hopes to continue to pursue his goal of becoming a Registered Nurse, but wants to also obtain a higher degree, potentially a Master’s. From there, Truc says he’d love to become a nurse educator so he can pay it forward and help harness more compassionate people who are ready to embark on a healthcare career.

“If you’re talking about a life-changing place, Firelands is it,” said Truc. “The essence of Firelands pushed me to get back into the race. This organization takes care of its own people, and it takes care of its patients. I want to be a part of that team.”

Join the Firelands Family

As one of the top employers in the area, it takes a particular type of person to become a member of the Firelands Family. At Firelands, each of us contributes our unique talents for a greater purpose – improving the lives of our patients. The moment you walk through our doors, you can feel it. The attitude, commitment and enthusiasm each member of the Firelands Family has for our purpose. The camaraderie we share as we care for patients. The teamwork. 

Want to start a career at Firelands Regional Medical Center or Firelands Physician Group? We hire for a number of hospital jobs in Sandusky, Norwalk, Bellevue, and nearby, as well as numerous career areas and physician office jobs. Our hospital job openings are constantly changing. Browse our open jobs and apply online at today.

"Anyone can get a job that will pay you, but when we have to spend so much of our lives in one place, why not do it with people who matter to you, and who you matter to." - real Firelands nursing employee