Programs & Courses
Program Spotlight: Health Care Aide
From an oilfield worker to health care aide practitioner, alum pursues his passion at MHC
It started with a Code 66.
In what sounds like a scene from a television hospital drama, Einstein Capati, a health care aide practitioner and Medicine Hat College (MHC) alum, describes an experience he gained on his preceptorship as one that would strengthen his bond to the profession and fill him with purpose.
When a Code 66 is announced over the hospital’s public address system, the health care team is alerted to the deterioration of a patient’s condition, which could be the result of anything from a heart attack to a loss of consciousness.
“I was already in the room when the code was called. I had the cart prepared and the situation moved at a fast pace. It was a rush knowing I helped someone and could be there for my patient when they needed me.”
Einstein credits his ability to act quickly and confidently to an excellent preceptor from the hospital and the instructors in MHC’s health care aide (HCA) program, who had prepared him to respond to just such a scenario and so much more.
As an HCA student, Einstein learned everything from managing wound care and measuring vital signs to understanding body systems, functions and chronic conditions. This education has helped him create strong relationships with his colleagues and patients and apply valuable knowledge on the job.
“We are the eyes and ears for the nurses. We take care of the patients, help clean them, and check their overall health integrity. Because of the relationship we build with our patients, if we find they aren’t as vibrant one day, we communicate that, because maybe there is something wrong.”
The path to a greater purpose
While his current purpose is clear, his path into the health care industry was anything but straightforward. Einstein was an accountant by trade before transitioning into the oilfield after the birth of his second child.
“The pandemic was a blessing and a curse. Because of my job in the oilfield, I wasn’t around that much but with the slowdown I got to stay home. I helped my son rebuild his car, but I also made the choice to return to school and enter the health care aide program.”
For the hardworking father of three, it was a simple choice.
“My main motivators are my kids and my patients. One thing I always tell my children is if you think you know enough, then you are not doing it right. There is always something new that you can learn, every day.”
And he continues to learn with his current position at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, working on 2North, a unit that cares for a wide range of patients from those rehabilitating from a stroke to someone experiencing dementia.
Reflecting on some of the most memorable moments of his career so far, Einstein lights up as he speaks about the relationships he has with his patients.
“They are much more to me than patients. I really care,” he says, noting that he recently received written letters from three families thanking him personally for the care he gave their parents. “That was pretty great. I’m not just a number, to some people I’m Einstein.”
Although there have been hard days on the job, Einstein celebrates each patient’s life and treats each one like family and gives them the dignity they deserve.
Advice for future health care aide studentsWhen asked the advice he would give future students of the HCA program, the alum encourages everyone to "find your own rhythm and do what you love, because if you care, it will translate into your work."
Medicine Hat College offers the eight-month, Health Care Aide certificate program both in person and online, as part of their education students participate in three clinical placements. A career that is in high-demand, those interested in learning more are encouraged to visit www.mhc.ab.ca/HCA.