Paradigm Health hospice volunteer John Wang says he was in search of hospice volunteer opportunities over this past student winter break and saw a call for volunteers at Paradigm. He was immediately drawn to the idea and knew he wanted to help.
“I’m currently a junior at Indiana University studying molecular life sciences and will be applying to medical school this upcoming June,” shares Wang. “I was looking for more opportunities to become involved in the medical field. I hope to be going to IU School of Medicine and this local hospice volunteer opportunity seemed perfect.”
Wang says he felt he was lacking in volunteer experience and wanted to improve his communication skills. He adds that Paradigm Health Volunteer Coordinator Rockea Bell has been an excellent trainer and mentor.
“Paradigm Health seemed like an inviting place where I could exercise and improve my communication abilities and ultimately develop relationships with hospice patients and serve as a support system for them,” Wang says. “I believe Rockea has really helped me learn how to interact and talk with others.”
For much of Wang’s time with Paradigm he has been making bereavement calls and has learned that being a good listener is just as important as honing his communication skills. He’s now transitioned roles and will be directly involved in contacting patients and having conversations with them.
“Talking with hospice patients has been very rewarding and inspirational for me,” says Wang. “The patients and families are very appreciative of Paradigm Health’s volunteer program and I feel grateful for the opportunity to talk with so many hospice patients and families.”
Even though COVID has affected the way in which volunteers interact with patients and their families — predominantly virtually — the volunteer program was an excellent way to continue to reach out to those in need to keep hospice patients from feeling so alone and isolated during the pandemic.
“For others thinking of volunteering, I would say go for it,” Wang shares. “It has truly improved me as a person and changed how I view the world and our contributions to it for the better.”