Magazine article American Nurse Today

ANA Calls for Action in Wake of Police Abuse of Registered Nurse

Magazine article American Nurse Today

ANA Calls for Action in Wake of Police Abuse of Registered Nurse

Article excerpt

The American Nurses Association (ANA) expressed outrage that a registered nurse (RN) was handcuffed and arrested by a police officer for following her hospital's policy and the law, and immediately called for the Salt Lake City Police Department to conduct a full investigation, make amends to the nurse, and take action to prevent future abuses.

The incident occurred July 26 at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, and video footage of the incident was released on August 31. Registered nurse Alex Wubbels, a Utah Nurses Association member, was arrested after refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient who had been injured in a collision and was a patient on the burn unit.

According to the video, Wubbels shared details about the hospital's policy with the police officers and consulted her supervisors in responding to the detective's request. Wubbels cited the hospital's policy, stating that blood could not be taken from an unconscious patient unless the patient is under arrest, a warrant had been issued for the blood draw, or the patient consents.

"It is outrageous and unacceptable that a nurse should be treated in this way for following her professional duty to advocate on behalf of the patient as well as following the policies of her employer and the law," said ANA President Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

According to ANA's Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, "the nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient. …

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