Police barred from patient care areas at Utah hospital after nurse arrested

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After a video of University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels being arrested for refusing to allow a police officer to draw blood from an unconscious patient went viral, the hospital will block police from entering the emergency department, burn unit or other patient care areas.

As part of this new policy, police officers will have to check in with the hospital’s front desk, where they’ll be met by a hospital supervisor, not a nurse. Hospital officials said this would allow staff like Wubbels to focus on their jobs and not have to worry about repeats of the incident which saw her being arrested for following hospital policy.

Wubbels’ actions are not only backed up by hospital rules, according to NPR, but by a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision which says police can’t test a person’s blood without a warrant.

“We have to make sure this never, ever happens again,” said Margaret Pearce, MSN, PhD, chief nursing officer at University of Utah Hospital. “I was appalled at the events of July 26. She was advocating for the rights of her patient. She did this beautifully.”

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