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RN Melinda Leinard's Kindness Brightens Up the Night Shift

UT Health East texas Nurse Cares goes above and beyond to care for her patients

For Melinda Leinard, RN, charge nurse at UT Health Henderson, it’s the little things that go a long way.

Leinard, who works the night shift, already is known at the hospital for passing out bookmarks to new patients in the morning that feature an acrostic poem reading GOOD MORNING. 

“I thought it would be something to give them in the morning to say, ‘I hope you have a great day. It was a pleasure taking care of you last night.’ Just something to brighten their day a little bit,” she said.

More recently, Leinard has found a soft spot in her heart for pediatric patients who need some comforting. 

The need presented itself when Leinard was caring for a pediatric patient who didn’t speak English and was clearly very scared. 

“She looked absolutely terrified and I said I really need something to try to connect with this child,” Leinard said. 

So she called down to obstetrics and was able to get a small stuffed animal to give the child. That made all the difference, establishing the connection Leinard desired. “Before I left the night shift, she was actually smiling at me,” she said. 

Leinard purchased more stuffed animals herself, storing them in a hospital filing cabinet to give pediatric patients who need a little comfort and security in a scary situation.

“I think they’re getting a security blanket and they know that someone cares. It’s something to hold on to that’s theirs,” she said. 

The joy doesn’t stop with the children, she said.
“I’ve had a couple of moms almost start crying that someone would make that effort to make their child feel safe.”