On Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, the university bid farewell to Prof. Dr. Gudrun Piechotta-Henze in retirement. She had been a professor of nursing science in the degree programs "Health and Nursing Management" (B.Sc.) and "Management and Care in Health Care" (B.Sc.) at ASH Berlin since 2001.
Role model for the academization of the nursing professions
At the university, Piechotta-Henze was instrumental in the development of the bachelor's degree program in nursing, making her "a true role model for the academization of the nursing professions," said Rector Prof. Dr Bettina Völter in her speech.
In numerous appreciative speeches and with musical accompaniment, colleagues, students and other companions said goodbye: "For our college, you are a bench," said Rector Prof. Dr. Bettina Völter, "both in the sense of a bench as a place to rest and in the sense of a workbench as a place of activity."
Focus on dementia and migration experiences
Gudrun Piechotta-Henze began her professional career in the 1970s as a nurse and later studied sociology, political science, ethnology, journalism and medical history at the Georg August University in Göttingen. She was a research assistant at the universities of Göttingen and Bremen and wrote her doctoral thesis on "Female or competent? - Women's nursing competencies. An investigation into the professional situation of nurses".
Early on, she became strongly sensitized to the social impact that dementia had on the people affected and their families. Dementia was and still is often accompanied by a strong stigmatization of those affected; those affected are often perceived only as "demented" instead of as individuals with their own interests and wishes, as mothers, fathers and friends, as people with different needs. This is a problem that also extends to nursing practice. As part of her research, she therefore focuses particularly on the care of dementia patients as well as the support of relatives, especially of people with migration experience.
In 2019, Gudrun Piechotta-Henze became a Brain City Ambassador for the city of Berlin. During an interview, she gave a clear answer to the question of what her greatest professional success was: "I hope to have contributed a little to ensuring that people with dementia are valued and respected by society. And that they receive the professional care they need."