Long-term care and going viral on social media may not go hand-in-hand but registered health care assistant Stu MacInnis has made that happen.
MacInnis is a registered health care assistant who works in long-term care in the Comox Valley and shares his perspective on health care – and a few other things – on social media, particularly TikTok.
MacInnis is the next guest on the Record’s Off The Page podcast set to be released June 22.
A video he created last month received nearly half a million views, while others have received more than four million views.
Despite going viral on social media, MacInnis wasn’t always a fan of the various platforms.
“When I was in (health care aide) program at North Island College in the beginning of 2020, I had never really heard of TikTok. We had some of the younger people in that class that were obviously involved in it and I actually spent a lot of time being the old curmudgeon, the old guy bad-mouthing (it),” he explained.
“Then COVID hit and my schooling got sent home, and I don’t remember how I slid into it. I just got hooked like everybody else.”
He began posting videos and gained more than 1,000 followers, which allowed him to go live, and he posted live streams of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn, through his telescope with his phone.
It was through those videos that MacInnis gained traction and realized the social commentary that can happen through the platform. He found a video that he ‘stitched’ with – a tool that allows a creator to combine another video on TikTok with the one he was creating.
The ‘stitched’ video was with another healthcare worker who asked: “What is the part of healthcare that you wish the public knew that they don’t generally know about your particular specialty in healthcare?”
His response has garnered more than 350,000 views.
“I think part of it was just sort of authenticity. A lot of times you see videos on Tiktok and there’s a lot of editing, and they’ve got sound in the background, (but) it was just me being authentic,” he explained. “And that was one of the things a lot of people said in the comments section was, ‘That was so real, that was so heartfelt,’ which it was and I think it also hit people because so many people have family members in long-term care.”
MacInnis added he wanted to convey the passion behind what he and his colleagues have for their jobs.
“I have sat at the bedside with a number of residents as they’ve transitioned from this to life to whatever’s next. And I consider it an absolute privilege to be there with them for them at that moment, and for the families.”
As for what he wants to do next with social media? You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out.
New episodes of Off The Page drop every Wednesday.
To submit podcast topics or guest ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org.