Nurse Lives Matter

 

So this just happened:

A nurse caring for a burn patient involved in a car crash in July refused to draw blood on her intubated, sedated patient for a police officer investigating the crash. Per hospital policy agreed upon with the Salt Lake City PD, patients must have a warrant for their arrest, be under arrest, or give consent in order to have blood drawn — this patient had none of the above.

When this nurse, with hospital administration on the phone, refused the blood draw the detective became unhinged. She was dragged out of the hospital and handcuffed for “interfering” in the investigation. U. of Utah and Public Safety officers were present at the time of the incident and did not intervene. After the arrest, the detective wonders aloud to another officer how this event will affect his off-duty job transporting patients for an ambulance company.

“I’ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” he says. The detective continues to be on duty for the police department while an internal investigation is conducted.

Y’all. Wow. I’m at a loss, truly. Healthcare professionals expect abuse from patients and the occasional administrator, but never police. There has long been an understanding between police officers and nurses, one of mutual respect. That’s how I’ve gotten out of ever getting a ticket. I realize this is an isolated incident, but it’s still terrifying to think that I could be arrested by some hothead officer for following hospital policy and advocating for my patient.

What makes it extra scary is the lack of intervention by hospital police. Working in the ED, I interact closely with our public safety officers and feel as though they support me 100 percent. I cannot imagine the guys I work with letting something like this happen, but who knows. I pray I’m never in the position to find out.

Any nurses out there ever experienced anything like this?

Nursing is one of the hardest professions I know of. We are verbally and physically abused by patients and their families; we are expected to provide flawless care with high patient ratios and often times little auxiliary support; we stand up to doctors when they enter incorrect orders or make poor decisions for our patients; we don’t have time to eat, pee, or complete the mountains of CYA charting we are expected to complete. It is a tough road to travel. If you know a nurse, tell them how much you appreciate all that they do to care for our society.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Yeah, that’s special.

    • #1
  2. Mitchell Messom Member
    Mitchell Messom
    @MitchellMessom

    If there is no other context to this video at all, this is just horrifying.

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    In my experience,  police and the courts poorly understand both Hipaa and confidentiality.

    The hospital administration is at fault here too for not backing up the nurse. I would be firing someone.

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Someone should point out to Inspector Clouseau here that due to his callous disregard of proper procedure the evidentiary value of that blood sample would be bupkis and that any competent defense counsel would burn him down to the soles of his flat feet.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    In my experience, police and the courts poorly understand both Hipaa and confidentiality.

    Very much so. Basically, he arrested her for not violating federal law.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    In my experience, police and the courts poorly understand both Hipaa and confidentiality.

    Very much so. Basically, he arrested her for not violating federal law.

    Typical. I know there are many nice cops, but some are just total bullies.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I know there are many nice cops, but some are just total bullies.

    Yes, some are. And perhaps he had also been through a lot that day. Was it a one-car accident? Were there any other people involved or killed? Was it the officer’s third accident investigation of the day? Or, is he just a power-mad jerk? We don’t know enough from this, but the possibility is certainly there.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    There were a couple of officers on my father’s force who were caught flashing opposing gang signs at the gang members to try to incite them.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):
    There were a couple of officers on my father’s force who were caught flashing opposing gang signs at the gang members to try to incite them.

    Missed that one. I preferred the ones that used to take naps in St. Joe’s cemetery.

    • #9
  10. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Percival (View Comment):
    Someone should point out to Inspector Clouseau here that due to his callous disregard of proper procedure the evidentiary value of that blood sample would be bupkis and that any competent defense counsel would burn him down to the soles of his flat feet.

    It struck me too that a blood sample taken without consent, a warrant, or an arrest would be of no use on a DUI charge. I find it hard to believe that the officer isn’t aware of that, so I can’t imagine what he was thinking his objective was. There must be more to this.

    • #10
  11. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    This was drug related or suspected.  Folks, we’ve empowered a monster bureaucracy with little accountability in our war on drugs.  It just keeps getting worse, they take property of innocents, break down the wrong doors and while they arrest lots of kids  guilty of selling the stuff or doing things related to selling or committing crimes while on the stuff and transporting it what has it accomplished?  Anything? Anywhere?  We’ve filled up our jails toward what purpose.  Has that helped?  Of course most of us are not affected directly by the devastation the business does in Mexico, Central or South America, nor in the ghettos, but now that it has moved big time into our schools and neighborhoods our reaction seems to be to double down on failure and to empower even more the kind of approach that is the cause of the problem in the first place.  This video shows how invulnerable officers working that beat feel.  The more havoc these toxic substances  wreak the more power we give to authorities to deal with them, but it is this authority that makes it such a profitable business even as it rewards the most ruthless people and creates utterly brutal criminal subcultures.  Dealing with the atavistic souls of the subcultures we’ve created naturally affects the officers who face these animals daily.  Do you think we could start rethinking this approach?

    • #11
  12. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    In the newspaper article, the officer says he wanted the blood sample to protect the patient, not to punish him. So, maybe it’s not important to the officer whether the results of the blood test could be used for evidence in court. The patient is identified as a reserve police officer in a town in Idaho who was injured driving a truck (his “day job”) when a person fleeing from Utah Highway Patrol crashed into his truck.

    If the officer thought the patient was free of drugs and alcohol, arresting the patient, or getting a warrant for the patient’s arrest would be problematic. I don’t know if a judge called upon for a search warrant would consider gathering evidence of innocence a reason to issue a search warrant that would allow a blood draw. [I don’t even know if a search warrant can cover a bodily intrusion like a blood draw, as the nurse mentioned warrant for arrest, but did not mention a search warrant as one of the conditions permitting a blood draw.]

    It may just be that his instinct to protect a fellow officer overwhelmed his judgment to the point that he thought the matter so important to justify dragging the nurse off in handcuffs.

    • #12
  13. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    In a weird way this might be the best scenario for this nurse.  I would think there’s no way they could prosecute her now.  I could be wrong.  As a resident of Salt Lake City it makes me nervous a cop like this is roaming around.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The officer was wrong. This action was wrong. The Nurse was in the right, following the rules given to her. The officer should be punished.

    Our jails are not filled because of the war on drugs. They are full because people commit crimes. While drugs may be involved, locking someone up on drugs charges is not the main driver. At worst it is 20%. I would wager that of those, it was not people going about their business doing nothing else wrong that got them busted for drugs.

     

     

    • #14
  15. JcTPatriot Member
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Vicryl Contessa: A nurse caring for a burn patient involved in a car crash in July refused to draw blood on her intubated, sedated patient for a police officer investigating the crash.

    I am not defending the cop’s actions; they were clearly dead-wrong. But I sure would like to know what the cop had just been through. Did he just pull dead children out of a mini-van that had been T-boned by the guy who was most likely drunk after he roared through a red light?

    Every second you wait, the blood-alcohol level goes down. Yep, the cop should have already asked for the warrant, but maybe in his mental state, he forgot and saw this perp walking without it, and was just trying to find a way to get justice.

    The video starts too late and ends too early. We know nothing. It makes me very sad to defend the a-hole cop, who was clearly wrong.

    • #15
  16. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The officer was wrong. This action was wrong. The Nurse was in the right, following the rules given to her. The officer should be punished.

    Our jails are not filled because of the war on drugs. They are full because people commit crimes. While drugs may be involved, locking someone up on drugs charges is not the main driver. At worst it is 20%. I would wager that of those, it was not people going about their business doing nothing else wrong that got them busted for drugs.

    It’s that the war on drugs drives the price and profits, arrests are just part of the supply restriction and  not the most important part by far, but we’ve empowered the warriors and they’re human, they abuse power.   As the drug gangs get worse, more dangerously violent it psychologically justifies what authorities feel they must  do.   I’d guess 90% of the crimes that cause people to end up in jail are drug related.  Even when it’s wife abuse or burglary, or murder, or mugging, or theft. Ten thousand percent profits is hard to ignore and a big bust temporarily should double that, but doesn’t because supply is well managed.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The officer was wrong. This action was wrong. The Nurse was in the right, following the rules given to her. The officer should be punished.

    Our jails are not filled because of the war on drugs. They are full because people commit crimes. While drugs may be involved, locking someone up on drugs charges is not the main driver. At worst it is 20%. I would wager that of those, it was not people going about their business doing nothing else wrong that got them busted for drugs.

    It’s that the war on drugs drives the price and profits, arrests are just part of the supply restriction and not the most important part by far, but we’ve empowered the warriors and they’re human, they abuse power. As the drug gangs get worse, more dangerously violent it psychologically justifies what authorities feel they must do. I’d guess 90% of the crimes that cause people to end up in jail are drug related. Even when it’s wife abuse or burglary, or murder, or mugging, or theft. Ten thousand percent profits is hard to ignore and a big bust temporarily should double that, but doesn’t because supply is well managed.

    This is not a WOD issue. Your comments are now far afield from the OP. I have noted your anti WOD talking points, and refuted one which you ignored.

    The coop is as fault period. Full stop.

    • #17
  18. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Vicryl Contessa: A nurse caring for a burn patient involved in a car crash in July refused to draw blood on her intubated, sedated patient for a police officer investigating the crash.

    I am not defending the cop’s actions; they were clearly dead-wrong. But I sure would like to know what the cop had just been through. Did he just pull dead children out of a mini-van that had been T-boned by the guy who was most likely drunk after he roared through a red light?

    Every second you wait, the blood-alcohol level goes down. Yep, the cop should have already asked for the warrant, but maybe in his mental state, he forgot and saw this perp walking without it, and was just trying to find a way to get justice.

    The video starts too late and ends too early. We know nothing. It makes me very sad to defend the a-hole cop, who was clearly wrong.

    I’m sorry.  I don’t care what this cop went through that day. We should never give free licence for cops to act violently because they had a bad day.  If he isn’t capable enough to assess that this nurse was being calm and absolutely no threat to his safety or the safety of others then he should be reprimanded harshly.

    • #18
  19. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Yep, the cop should have already asked for the warrant, but maybe in his mental state, he forgot and saw this perp walking without it, and was just trying to find a way to get justice.

    You don’t get justice by breaking the law or forcing innocent people to do things in contravention of law.  Assuming your scenario, that the patient was a suspect in a fatal accident, doing what he did would result in the evidence of intoxication being suppressed, not shown to a jury.  So justice would be less likely to be served.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t understand the emotional distress the officer might have been under,  but just as that would not excuse a private citizen, it shouldn’t excuse the officer.

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Also, if this was about BAL, I might point out Alcohol is legal and as such has nothing to do with the WOD.

    • #20
  21. Matt White Member
    Matt White
    @

    Mitchell Messom (View Comment):
    If there is no other context to this video at all, this is just horrifying.

    There’s no context that can improve this. Just be glad it’s on video.

    This isn’t police work. It’s just plain tyranny. If he’ll do this with all those credible witnesses around, imagine what he does to his victims when there’s no one else around.

    • #21
  22. Matt White Member
    Matt White
    @

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I know there are many nice cops, but some are just total bullies.

    Yes, some are. And perhaps he had also been through a lot that day. Was it a one-car accident? Were there any other people involved or killed? Was it the officer’s third accident investigation of the day? Or, is he just a power-mad jerk? We don’t know enough from this, but the possibility is certainly there.

    No excuse for that. If he can’t handle the job without terrorizing innocent people he shouldn’t have a badge. He should be in jail.

    • #22
  23. Matt White Member
    Matt White
    @

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    In the newspaper article, the officer says he wanted the blood sample to protect the patient, not to punish him. So, maybe it’s not important to the officer whether the results of the blood test could be used for evidence in court. The patient is identified as a reserve police officer in a town in Idaho who was injured driving a truck (his “day job”) when a person fleeing from Utah Highway Patrol crashed into his truck.

    If the officer thought the patient was free of drugs and alcohol, arresting the patient, or getting a warrant for the patient’s arrest would be problematic. I don’t know if a judge called upon for a search warrant would consider gathering evidence of innocence a reason to issue a search warrant that would allow a blood draw. [I don’t even know if a search warrant can cover a bodily intrusion like a blood draw, as the nurse mentioned warrant for arrest, but did not mention a search warrant as one of the conditions permitting a blood draw.]

    It may just be that his instinct to protect a fellow officer overwhelmed his judgment to the point that he thought the matter so important to justify dragging the nurse off in handcuffs.

    That’s a terrible excuse. He needs to be in jail.

    • #23
  24. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    You are cop or you are little people.  It is just that simple.  Not sure why you guys are surprised by what is some thing that happens regularly?  Sure the nurse may get out of this but it will cost her one way or the other.  That is the point.

    The cop will get some sort of “administrative leave” paid vacation  and nothing will come from it.   The nurse may get fired for allowing this mess to get to this point and especially out to social media.  This is how authority works.

    • #24
  25. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    thelonious (View Comment):
    In a weird way this might be the best scenario for this nurse. I would think there’s no way they could prosecute her now. I could be wrong. As a resident of Salt Lake City it makes me nervous a cop like this is roaming around.

    I was surprised that he was not put on leave pending the investigation. He should be pulled off duty.

    • #25
  26. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    In my experience, police and the courts poorly understand both Hipaa and confidentiality.

    Very much so. Basically, he arrested her for not violating federal law.

    Typical. I know there are many nice cops, but some are just total bullies.

    As my preceptee affectionately calls me “You big fat bully!”

    • #26
  27. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    You are cop or you are little people. It is just that simple. Not sure why you guys are surprised by what is some thing that happens regularly? Sure the nurse may get out of this but it will cost her one way or the other. That is the point.

    The cop will get some sort of “administrative leave” paid vacation and nothing will come from it. The nurse may get fired for allowing this mess to get to this point and especially out to social media. This is how authority works.

    He wasn’t even put on leave. The nurse will not get fired as she was clearly in the right on this. Hospital administration was on the phone backing up her position. I kinda hope this goes to trail, but doubt that it ever will.

    • #27
  28. John Park Member
    John Park
    @jpark

    In the past, I worked on a case where a drunk driver was involved in an accident that resulted in a death. The unconscious drunk was flown across state lines, where his blood was tested. Why not? At the very least, the medical personnel need to know what they’re dealing with. The home state subpoenaed the records, and there’s an interstate compact that allows for the recovery and use of those records.

    • #28
  29. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Matt White (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I know there are many nice cops, but some are just total bullies.

    Yes, some are. And perhaps he had also been through a lot that day. Was it a one-car accident? Were there any other people involved or killed? Was it the officer’s third accident investigation of the day? Or, is he just a power-mad jerk? We don’t know enough from this, but the possibility is certainly there.

    No excuse for that. If he can’t handle the job without terrorizing innocent people he shouldn’t have a badge. He should be in jail.

    Agreed. Like nurses and doctors, police officers are held to a higher standard of conduct. If a nurse “lost her cool” with a patient and roughed them up a little, they would be fired, have their license revoked, and be barred from ever having contact with patients or children in childcare settings. This guy has nothing happen to him. No leave, nothing. Just a “cops will be cops” write off.

    • #29
  30. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    You are cop or you are little people. It is just that simple. Not sure why you guys are surprised by what is some thing that happens regularly? Sure the nurse may get out of this but it will cost her one way or the other. That is the point.

    The cop will get some sort of “administrative leave” paid vacation and nothing will come from it. The nurse may get fired for allowing this mess to get to this point and especially out to social media. This is how authority works.

    Sigh.

    I suppose I could write about a few abusive (even fatal) encounters I’ve had or had reason to learn about involving  medical personnel—that, too, is how authority works—but I won’t.

    The police officer is at fault. As you know, I am about as pro-cop and inclined to give LEOs the benefit of the doubt as anyone, but this is a big screw-up.

    Here’s the thing: even if the officer believed he had cause to arrest the nurse, there was no reason to go hands-on with her. He had plenty of back-up, there was no reason to believe she wouldn’t comply with verbal commands or was likely to resist. Grabbing her and slamming her around was a needless escalation of the use of force even if you assume the arrest was warranted.  

    He lost his temper. I don’t know why. Even if he had a really bad day,  you don’t get to take out your bad day on other people anymore than the nurse does. Full stop.

    • #30

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