Local News

Viral video of nurse, officer sparks conversation in NC,, across country

Posted September 5
Updated September 6

A video of a Utah nurse being put in handcuffs for refusing to collect blood from an unconscious patient last week has gone viral.

The footage, captured by an officer's body camera, sparked nationwide outrage over the nurse's treatment.

Local nursing professionals in the Triangle said they are confident something like that would not happen in North Carolina.

Mary Graff has been a nurse for more than 30 years and now leads the North Carolina Nurses Association.

The organization is the professional advocacy organization for all registered nurses in the state.

"I was just astounded, almost incredulous. I could not believe what was occurring," Graff said.

She said the nurse in the video followed Utah law, which is the same as North Carolina law.

"They have to have the consent of the individual in order to draw their blood, and if the individual does not provide consent, then they must obtain a warrant," she said.

She said she is confident a similar situation would not arise in North Carolina.

"In my 30 plus years as a nurse in Raleigh, I have had nothing but exemplary relationships with law enforcement here," she said.

Graff said if something were to happen, nurses could look to the nurse in the video as a model.

"She was professional, she was thoughtful, she was calm," Graff said. "She made me proud to be a nurse."

After the incident in Utah, that hospital stopped allowing police officers in patient care areas.

A Selma police supervisor has been demoted after he was accused of handcuffing an emergency room nurse at Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield.

Police Chief Charles Bowman said Friday that, effective Monday, officer Travis Abbott will be reassigned as a patrolman for the police force.

Abbott was accused of handcuffing the nurse after she refused to draw blood from a suspected drunken driver.

A Duke Hospital spokesperson said law enforcement officers are allowed in their patient-care areas, but only if there is legal compulsion to do so. Such legal compulsion could include situations in which officers have a search warrant, or are transporting an inmate to medical care.

8 Comments

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  • Jeff Freuler Sep 6, 5:06 p.m.
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    Yes

  • Jeff Freuler Sep 6, 5:06 p.m.
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    He was ordered by a supervisor to arrest her so I'm sure there needs to be an investigation to mak sure all the i's are dotted and all the t's crossed before signing dismissal paperwork

  • Steve Faulkner Sep 6, 1:37 p.m.
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    What conversation was sparked? The Officer was 100% WRONG. How he is not fired already is incredible.

  • Linda Tally Sep 6, 12:12 p.m.
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    But you just had to, huh?

  • Jeff Freuler Sep 6, 9:59 a.m.
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    At least both parties were white so race can't be brought into the story

  • A.j. Reimann Sep 6, 9:13 a.m.
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    Not only could it happen here, it already DID happen here! And not only did it happen here, you reported it!!!! http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/11775859/

  • Rudy Bizzell Sep 6, 7:30 a.m.
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    Wral the Nurse arrested was several years ago According to the lawsuit, around 1:00am on November 12, 2013, Officer Abbott brought a DWI suspect to the hospital demanding that the emergency room (ER) staff draw the suspect’s blood. The lab technician told Abbott she was not allowed to draw blood without a court order if the individual was not willing to consent. To make the statement it won't happen here you cant predict the future

  • Linda Tally Sep 5, 8:42 p.m.
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    Reason would indicate Ms. Graff's assessment to be correct - it is not apt to happen here. Tension will prove that it certainly can. Kudos to the Utah lady and her staunch support of patient rights and legal protocol.