• Hospice Chaplain Provides Spiritual Companionship

    October 23, 2019 | Blog
  • Paradigm Health Chaplain Bryan Smith is in his 11th year as a hospice chaplain in Central Indiana and says that visits with patients and their loved ones provides both spiritual companionship and support.

    “During a visit with a patient and their family, we spend time in life review and conversation if they are able to do so, have Bible readings and/or devotionals and prayerful support,” says Smith. “As chaplains, we are also available for assistance with funerals, memorial services and bereavement support. We meet the patient and family wherever they are spiritually to meet their unique needs.”

    A Call to Ministry

    Smith began his professional studies in criminal justice and had a plan for law school. But, two years into those classes, he felt a strong calling to ministry and transferred to Anderson University where he earned a degree in religious studies. He obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary. He began serving with Paradigm Health in October 2017.

    “I love serving with patients and their loved ones as it gives me the opportunity to re-present God’s unconditional love and message of hope and healing during such a pivotal time in their life,” says Smith. “I can’t think of a more important time in one’s spiritual journey than the end of his or her life. For me to be a part of this journey is simply amazing.”

    Inevitably, Smith says, others always ask him how he can do what he does every day. He tells them that hospice chaplaincy presents both rewards and challenges. He personally views his role in hospice support as more rewarding than challenging. But one of the challenges many in hospice care face is the ability to leave “work at work” and not take it home. The negative aspects of the death and the dying process can certainly take a toll on a caregiver. Smith offers that the challenge is to not let this have an overwhelming effect on one’s daily life outside of service and care.

    “During my 11 years of service, I have worked for two other hospice providers and I have found Paradigm to be the best,” Smith says. “I have really enjoyed serving with Paradigm Health for a couple of reasons. Paradigm presents a working culture that is second to none and the leadership team works very hard to make sure that Paradigm is a fun and positive work environment. And, Paradigm cares deeply and sincerely values their employees as well as all of the patients and loved ones who are being serviced.”

    Paradigm Health in Indianapolis is Home

    For these reasons and more, Smith shares, he’s made Paradigm his home. Smith also shares that not all patients and loved ones he serves must be religious to receive chaplain support. “I have personally served with many non-religious patients and loved ones who appreciate the extra care and support no matter where they are in their spiritual journey. It is very important to me to serve others with a loving and non-judgmental heart.”

    Paradigm Health’s holistic team approach was what drew Smith to the company in the first place. “The hospice chaplain is a vital part of the entire caregiving team. Research has shown that spiritual care, especially at the end of life, is a great benefit to the well-being of those under hospice care. The chaplain, along with the medical team, can provide much needed care and support at a time that is most pivotal.”

    For Smith, it is an honor and pleasure for him to serve in this capacity.