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Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off – “it’s so important to be kind”

Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off.
Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off. Courtesy of Cyndi Lundeberg.

A Las Vegas nurse is going above and beyond to help patients feel loved, even when she’s not on the clock.

Brooke Johns works as an emergency room nurse at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 40-year-old works tireless hours, but that doesn’t stop her from heading back into the hospital on her days off, to connect with patients and brush their hair – giving the patients a chance to “feel human” again.

“I feel like there’s something very special about brushing somebody’s hair,” Johns said. “It’s something just relaxing and very connecting.”

The special acts of kindness started when a friend of Johns had been diagnosed with Covid-19 – and couldn’t have any visitors.
“Her hair was very matted in the back…she was so weak and wasn’t able to brush it out herself, so I just said, ‘Do you want me to brush your hair?’”

Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off.
Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off. Courtesy of Cyndi Lundeberg.

Her friend said yes, and Johns got to work. Johns then offered to braid her friend’s hair so this wouldn’t happen again. Her friend accepted and when she was done, her friend said she felt a like a whole new person. This positive change in attitude gave Johns the idea to continue this with other patients.

“She was a different person when I left,” Johns said. “The thought just popped into my head that if my friend benefitted so much from this, I bet there’s a hospital full of people that need some sort of human connection.”

Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off.
Las Vegas nurse brushes and braids patients’ hair on her days off. Courtesy of Cyndi Lundeberg.

Johns would go to her director in order to find the patients. She would send word out to the rest of the staff asking if any patient wanted their hair braided, and when they say yes, Johns received a text with their room number and would go to each room individually.

Johns said she does this because none of us know what a person may be going through, and she just wanted to make people feel loved – especially during a time when they can’t see their family and friends.

“Everybody has a story that will bring you to your knees,” Johns said. “Life is hard and that’s why I think it’s so important to be kind and patient and spend time with people.”


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