Stefanie Feldmann steht auf einem Balkon.

Close to people | Stories from Bethel

"I am and will remain a Bethel child"

"Will it really be 40 years soon?" asks Stefanie Feldmann. She looks doubtful and laughs. But it's true: she started at the former Bethel Nursing School in 1985. It no longer exists, and a lot has changed at Bethel and for her since then: The 16-year-old student has become an experienced healthcare expert and deaconess. It is the opportunities for professional and personal development available at Bethel that make Stefanie Feldmann say: "If I were young again, I would go back to the nursing profession."

Information sheet on a pinboard on the subject of delirium

The 55-year-old works in the Help+ programme at Bethel Protestant Hospital (EvKB). The programme focuses on preventing and managing delirium in patients aged 70 and over. Help+ aims to prevent older people in hospital from falling into a state of acute confusion. Staff visit patients at risk of delirium up to twice a day. In addition to discussions and orientation, the programme includes movement and cognitive exercises. The aim is to activate and maintain everyday skills, prevent further complications and improve care in hospital.

Stefanie Feldmann benefits from her 25 years of experience as a nurse at the EvKB as well as from her diaconal training. She spent four years studying questions and approaches of diaconal organisations and the church on the extra-occupational course to become a deacon at the Bethel Protestant Training Centre. She also dealt with theological, spiritual, pastoral and ethical issues; in 2023, she was accepted into the Nazareth Community and ordained as a deacon. "Even at the bedside," she says, "it's often the big issues in life that patients want to talk to me about: What is or was the meaning of my life? Where do I come from, where am I going?"

Stefanie Feldmann sits at a table and gestures with her hands.
"I want to make a difference."
Stefanie Feldmann

Working as a team to think about how people can be helped was and is what drives Stefanie Feldmann in her work. She very much appreciates being able to do this in her current job with plenty of time for patients. She struggled and still struggles with the economic constraints imposed on the healthcare system. In the meantime, Stefanie Feldmann, who lives in Gütersloh-Isselhorst with her partner, son, dog and cat, looked for other professional challenges. But she always returned to Bethel. Her job gives her a sense of purpose and joy, she says: "I can really appreciate the bedside conversations, they often do me good myself. Then I realise that work doesn't have to be selfless."

Stefanie Feldmann works on the PC.

Stefanie Feldmann is grateful for the new opportunities and perspectives opened up by her training as a deaconess. "I got out of my bubble, got to know other wonderful people alongside my great colleagues and gained a broader perspective," she says. She formulates her current aspirations as follows: "I want to help shape my area of work in a diaconal way and take responsibility for our diaconal profile, creating a connection between people and God. I want to make a difference, leave my mark and use the gifts I have received." Stefanie Feldmann feels that the help+ programme is exactly the right place for her. So much so that, looking back on almost 40 years, she is convinced: "I am and will remain a Bethel child."

Text: Philipp Kreutzer | Photos: Matthias Cremer

This story simply told

Stefanie Feldmann has been working at Bethel for almost 40 years. She trained as a nurse. Today, she looks after the oldest patients at Bethel Protestant Hospital. She has also trained as a deacon and learnt a lot. Stefanie Feldmann enjoys her work at the clinic.

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Protestant Educational Centre for Diaconia and Community in the Sarepta and Nazareth Foundations
Bethelweg 8
33617 Bielefeld


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Programmes & services

The Protestant Educational Centre offers a wide range of educational programmes for individuals as well as for institutions and teams from diaconia and the church. The seminars take place both in person and digitally.

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