University of Utah Hospital announces policy changes following nurse’s arrest

SALT LAKE CITY — Administrators with the University of Utah Hospital announced changes to its policy after a nurse was arrested for refusing to supply a blood sample on a patient.

According to KSL.com, police will no longer work directly with the nursing staff.

“For our nurses and staff, this won’t happen again and to that end, we are changing and have changed our interface protocols with our law enforcement — a move set in motion within hours of the event with my team,” CEO Gordon Crabtree stated. “Our care nurses and staff will not be the first point of contact with law enforcement. This type of situation won’t happen again.”

Instead, officers will have to contact hospital supervisors and that interaction will not be in any area where patients are present.

The policy changes were announced publicly after police body camera video was released Thursday showing the arrest of Alex Wubbels, a nurse at the hospital. She was arrested July 26 after she refused an officer’s demand to allow a blood draw on a semi truck driver critically injured in a crash when a suspect fleeing from police hit him head-on.

As Wubbels explained the policy and her supervisor backed her up via speaker phone, Detective Jeff Payne suddenly declared “we’re done here” and arrested Wubbels. Video of the nurse screaming as she is dragged out the hospital and arrested went viral after it was released at a press conference Thursday.

Friday, District Attorney Sim Gill stated he is requesting a criminal investigation after receiving numerous complaints about the issue.

“In fairness to all those involved I have requested a criminal investigation into the incident so that the District Attorneys office could screen the matter after gathering all the facts,” Gill stated. “Our office had not received any materials on the matter thus far and in the interest of justice and given the prima facie evidence a criminal investigation is warranted.”

Payne was placed on full administrative leave with pay. A second officer was also put on paid leave, but authorities didn’t announce that person’s name or what role he played.

According to KSL, a police report suggested Payne was told to make the arrest by Police Lt. James Tracy. Tracy was the supervisor during the shirt and was seen on camera at the hospital “exchanging sharp words” with Wubbels.