Hospital changes policies after nurse arrest

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- Administrators from the University of Utah Hospital apologized to nurse Wubbels and addressed some policy changes Monday.

This comes after video of the arrest of University of Utah Hospital Burn Unit nurse Alex Wubbels made its way across the nation. Wubbels was arrested while on duty after refusing to fulfill a police blood draw request.

Watch the video of the arrest here.

The CEO, Chief Nursing Officer, Medical Director at the Burn Center, and the chief of University of Utah Public Safety came together for a press conference addressing the media.

Margaret Pearce, Chief of Nursing Officer said nurse Wubbels did everything she was supposed to do and a change of policy was immediately enforced after the incident.

Pearce said the new policy makes it so nurses will no longer interact with law enforcement.

“We are taking them completely out of the loop,” said Pearce. “They’re job is to take care of the patients. We never want them to leave patient care to deal with a police officer issue.”

Hospital officials said they were outraged and took action after learning what happened to Nurse Wubbels on July 26th.
 
 “To our nurses and staff this will not happen again,” said Crabtree.
 
Last week, Wubbels and her attorney released the body cam video from Salt Lake City police.  They took the step to make sure it never happens again.
 
A day after its release, both Salt Lake’s mayor and police chief apologized for their officer’s actions. 
 
The officer, along with another officer are on administrative leave pending an in-house investigation.
 
But speaking to CNN Monday, Wubbels said she was disappointed in the actions of her hospital’s security and the campus police department.
 
“I was scared to death,” Wubbels told CNN.  “I was obviously very frightened. and I think since this has happened, I’ve been able to sort of surmise what I’ve — I really feel betrayed.  I feel betrayed by the police officers.  I feel betrayed by my university police and security.”
 
Monday, her bosses and the campus police chief came to her defense.
 
“She put her own safety at risk to ensure the safety and privacy of the patient,” said Gordon Crabtree, CEO of the University Hospital. “Her actions are nothing short of exemplary.  She handled this situation with upmost courage and integrity.”
 
Dale Brophy with the University of Utah Department of Public Safety said security and his officer believed the Salt Lake City police officer had implied consent and allowed Wubbels to be arrested.  But Brophy said that was a mistake.
 
“It was clear that the arrest was completely mishandled, was inappropriate and didn’t need to happen,” said Chief Brophy  “She did everything possible to make that situation work and she wasn’t rewarded for that.”
 
The hospital’s CEO said they did take action right after Nurse Wubbels was placed under arrest.  Crabtree said supervisors talked with police to remove the handcuffs from her.  He said the next day, he met with Salt Lake police.
 
“It’s been misunderstood that we sort of waited for the body cam coverage before we reacted that’s not true,” said Crabtree.  “We acted within hour, even minutes on the scene.  But when I saw it the first thing the next morning I was outraged and said get everybody together.”
 
 Crabtree said right after his meeting with Salt Lake police they agreed on the new policy.  He said it went into effect the next day but wasn’t finalized until two weeks later.
 

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