University of Utah Hospital updates policies following nurse's arrest

Police officers will now only deal with House Supervisors to get information

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - The arrest of Nurse Alex Wubbels has sparked changes at the University of Utah Hospital.  Those new policies will change the interactions between nurses and police officers.

The July 26th conflict over  taking a blood sample from an unconscious car accident victim ended with Nurse Alex Wubbels in handcuffs.

"I was scared to death," Nurse Wubbels said in a recent interview. "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."

It also cost the arresting officer, 27 year SLCPD veteran Detective Jeff Payne his job.

Greg Skordas, is Payne's Attorney.

"He's told us from day one 'I wish I could do things differently. I wish I could tell my side'," Skordas said. "So he's devastated."

From now on nurses and officers will not face off in these kind of disputes because of new policies and procedures.

Julia Beynon, the University of Utah Hospital Clinical Operations Director, explained.

"Everyone came together after the event that we had and worked together to streamline our process," Beynon told ABC4 Utah News.

Beynon says now when officers need information, they'll be directed to an on-duty House Supervisor.

"They're senior nurses who really know our policies and our procedures," Beynon said. "What it does is they're able then to help facilitate the officer getting what they need while allowing our bedside nurses to remain at the bedside...Instead of trying to train all of our nurses we now have the house supervisor who can be the expert in getting the information that they need and in giving our patients privacy and safety."

Former Detective Payne has four business days left to file an appeal of his termination. Nurse Wubbels' attorney says she will likely file a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department by the end of this month.

 


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