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Meet the nurse who pampers patients on her days off

Brooke Johns

braidingrnbrookie | Instagram | Fair Use

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 05/02/22

Nursing is more than just a job, it's a vocation, and this emergency room nurse demonstrates that beautifully.
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Nursing is as much a vocation as it is a profession, and one nurse has found a beautiful way to give loving care to her patients even when she’s off the clock.

Brooke Johns is an emergency room nurse at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, and on her days off, she goes back to the hospital to do patients’ hair and spend time talking with them. 

This simple act of brushing and braiding hair is a powerful moment of human connection. Johns told “Good Morning America,” 

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

Johns has been a nurse for about three years, and started volunteering about a year ago. In that time, she has done hair care for more than 100 patients.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brooke Wilson Johns (@braidingrnbrookie)

Understandably, some patients find it hard to wrap their minds around the idea that she’s doing their hair for free, simply out of the goodness of her heart. She told USA Today,

“It’s usually the little old ladies that try to pay me. It’s just like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not why I’m here.’ It’s not a business thing. It’s a healing thing.”

Often, our time and attention are the most generous gifts we can give. Johns’ story so beautifully shows the difference that these gifts can make. She is an example of how to serve and love others in the ordinary moments of everyday life. 

Her story also shows the importance of the nursing profession. Pope Francis has spoken about nursing as a vocation:

Today let us pray for nurses, men and women in this profession that is more than a profession. It is a vocation, a dedication. May the Lord bless them. In this time of pandemic, they have been an example of heroism, and some have given their lives. Let us pray for nurses.

Nursing really is “a vocation, a dedication.” Nurses perform many quiet acts of heroism that few people ever know or see. 

Like so many nurses, Johns is heroic and compassionate. She shows how the simplest acts can be what make the biggest difference in the lives of others.

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