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Las Vegas Nurse Brushes and Braids Patients' Hair on Her Days Off: 'It's That Connection'

People logo People 8/6/2021 Abigail Adams
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One Las Vegas ER nurse is helping care for hospital patients both on and off the clock.

Brooke Johns, a nurse for 2½ years, spends her days off at Southern Hills Hospital, where she volunteers to pamper patients, according to ABC affiliate KNTV.

"There's something therapeutic about the human touch, as well," Johns told the news station in a profile on the healthcare hero. "Human talking, human touching, it's that connection that we're all hard-wired for."

Daphne Wilmot taking a selfie in a room: Brooke Johns began her special journey five months ago after helping a friend at the hospital © Provided by People Brooke Johns began her special journey five months ago after helping a friend at the hospital

During her visits, Johns will brush or braid the hair of any patients requesting the service. She is hopeful her kindness can provide a spark for those seeking a human connection while hospitalized.

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Johns began tending to patients' appearance five months ago after a friend ran into a problem while at the hospital battling an illness.

"Her hair was very snarled, she was too weak to brush it out herself and it was something she was very worried about," she told KNTV. "So, one of the times I was up there I was able to brush out her hair and braid it and just talk with her."

a woman taking a selfie in a room: brooke johns © Provided by People brooke johns

When she finally left her friend's room, Johns said the patient "was a different person." 

Johns' kindness has touched more than one heart. Sierra Stein, a former patient of the young nurse, credits her efforts for getting admitted to the hospital for proper care and treatment.

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"COVID is going around and there's a lot of isolation," Stein noted. "You can't have visitors or someone to come in with you or hold your hand and to have someone just to be able to braid your hair makes you feel like you're at home again."

As more nurses follow in Johns' footsteps, the nurse is working on a new idea. Once visitation restrictions are lifted, she plans to dress up as Elsa from Frozen and visit younger patients at Sunrise Children's Hospital.

"I think nurses, in general, get into this to help other people," Johns said of her life's calling.

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