Last week, a disturbing video came to light in which a Utah charge nurse, Alex Wubbels, was arrested for refusing to draw the blood of an unconscious patient at the request of Salt Lake police detective Jeff Payne. As Payne did not have a warrant or meet the mandatory criteria needed to take blood from the patient, Wubbels chose to protect the patient’s rights and not comply with Payne’s request, and was subsequently arrested in her work area at University Hospital, pulled outside, and placed into a patrol car for about 20 minutes. The video of Alex Wubbels’ arrest quickly went viral, and so has the support of other nurses in the days since under the hashtags #IStandWithAlex and #FireJeffPayne.
"The only job I have as a nurse is to keep my patient safe." -Alex Wubble, RN #IStandWithAlex pic.twitter.com/VXBhBpRFVm
— Jenna Harper (@jen_harp) September 2, 2017
I #BackTheBlue but in this case the officer made a mistake & Alex did right in protecting her patient.SL PD fix this #IStandWithAlex
— David Kearsley CNA (@NurseDavK) September 2, 2017
She was doing her job. When they asked her to break the law she said no, so they assaulted her. #AlexWubbles #IStandWithAlex
— Shelley Tantau (@stantau) September 1, 2017
We need to RT #FireJeffPayne and speak out. My God, nurses know about HIPPA and patient rights. This officer was over the line
— Offbeatenpaths (@offbeatenpaths) September 1, 2017
As an ER RN I can tell you this was not a"nursing incident". This was a police brutality, illegal, assault incident! #FireJeffPayne
— PoorlybehavedWoman (@poorlybehaved) September 1, 2017
In the days since the video’s release, the University of Utah Hospital has also shown their support for Wubbels by imposing new restrictions on law enforcement, including barring officers from direct contact with nurses and from patient care areas in the hospital.
What about you, do you stand with Alex?
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.