When you’re in and out of the hospital, the whole experience can feel very isolating and dehumanizing.
Even as a person’s physical health needs are met by the staff day after day, their sense of self and pride can deteriorate under the constant stress.
Add the Covid-19 pandemic on top of it all, and it’s not surprising that patients are more in need of human touch and contact than ever.
In Las Vegas’s Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, one nurse is filling that need not only during her shifts as an ER nurse but during her time off.
For the past few months, Brooke Johns has been visiting patients and braiding their hair. “There’s something therapeutic about the human touch,” she told ABC 13 KTNV.
It all started when Johns visited a friend in the hospital, who was saddened that she was too tired to properly care for her hair. “I was able to brush out her hair and braid it and just talk with her,” she explained.
That care, contact, and conversation left her friend rejuvenated, and Johns knew that other patients could benefit as well. She began spending days off at the hospital and volunteering the time and care for anyone that requested it.
Her example has led other nurses to begin doing the same. On Facebook, her employer, Southern Hills, shared a quote from Mr. Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ The hospital added that “Brooke…. is one of those helpers. On her days off from the emergency room, she comes back into the hospital to pamper our patients.”
For Johns, the work is just part of what called her to nursing in the first place — the desire to help and connect with those that need it.
When Covid restrictions lift, Johns plans to expand her volunteer work and visit a nearby children’s hospital dressed as Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Her drive and compassion are an inspiration and show just how much she cares for her patients.
Learn more about her work with patients by watching the video below!