LAS VEGAS, Nev. — An emergency room nurse in Las Vegas is going above and beyond her call of duty.
Brooke Johns has been a nurse for two and a half years. She sees people at their worst— hospitalized, uncomfortable, and often too tired to take care of their own appearance.
Johns comes into Southern Hills Hospital on her days off to brush and braid the hair of any patient who wants it. She says her acts of kindness go far beyond vanity and believes the human connection can help heal.
"There's something therapeutic about the human touch, as well. Human talking, human touching, it's that connection that we're all hard-wired for," Johns said.
Johns started pampering her patients five months ago when a friend was in the hospital battling illness.
“Her hair was very snarled, she was too weak to brush it out herself and it was something she was very worried about. 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,” said Johns. “She was a different person when I left that room.”
Recently, she visited Sierra Stein during a surprise reunion. Johns previously cared for Stein in an emergency room and encouraged her to seek additional care.
“It's because of her that I was admitted to the hospital getting the care and treatment I need,” Stein said.
Stein says the care Johns provides brings her comfort during an uncertain time.
“COVID is going around and there’s a lot of isolation. 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,” Stein added.
Other nurses are joining in on braiding patients' hair, proving kindness is contagious.
“Nurses, in general, get into this to help other people,” Johns said.
And Johns says she doesn’t want to stop here. Once visitation restrictions are lifted she plans to start visiting patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital dressed up as Elsa from "Frozen."
This story was originally published by Kelsey McFarland at KTNV.