Hospital Employees Assaulted at Vanderbilt Medical Center 

09 Jun, 2024 Liz Carey


Nashville, TN ( – Officials at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said three employees have been assaulted on the hospitals Nashville campus in the past month.  

In late May, authorities said a patient was arrested after he exposed himself to a staff member and assaulted her, police said. Police said Robert Dodson, 37, was charged with indecent exposure, assault on a medical employee and false imprisonment.  

According to reports, police responded to VUMC around 2 p.m. on May 27. Staff members said they had escorted Dodson to the bathroom so he could shower. Police said Dodson allegedly shut the door, exposed himself to the employee and then asked for sex. When the employee asked Dodson to cover himself and tried to leave Dodson allegedly stopped her and kissed her on the neck.  

Officials said he only released the woman when someone else tried to come into the bathroom.  

It is the third incident where an employee has been assaulted, officials said.  

On May 11, the Metro Nashville Police Department said a convicted sex offender was arrested after he attempted to sexually assault an employee outside of the medical center’s parking garage.  

Police said Daniel Revette, 39, a registered sex offender, was arrested at the hospital after he allegedly grabbed a medical center employee near an off-campus parking garage. Police said he allegedly sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she made a noise. The employee was able to escape by biting Revette, police said, and then calling 911. He was arrested and booked on a bond of $160,000. Officials said he was also wanted for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery and attempted rape. Police said Revette was convicted of aggravated assault in 2021 and of attempted rape in 2007.  

In late April, Vanderbilt University Police officers arrested a man after an employee accused him of touching her and saying inappropriate things to her.  

According to police records, the employee was watching a movie in a waiting room at VUMC when a man, Justin Brooks, sat next to her and began talking to her. Police said Brooks told the employee was there visiting his mother at the hospital, then asked her to see him outside of the hospital. When the employee told Brooks that she had a boyfriend, he allegedly said that her relationship didn’t matter.  

The employee told officers after the interaction Brooks walked away to take a phone call, but then returned and leaned down, kissing her on the forehead. When the employee pushed him away and answered a call on her phone, he began rubbing her stomach and saying inappropriate things to her, reports said.  

When the employee got up to leave, Brooks allegedly began fumbling with the waistband of his pants and said, “Come on baby, you know you want this,” the affidavit said.  

Vanderbilt police said they contacted Brooks after watching surveillance videos of the waiting room. Brooks allegedly admitted to everything except kissing the employee and touching her. He was arrested and charged with sexual battery.  

Nationally, assaults on healthcare workers has been on the rise since the pandemic. According to the American Hospital Association, healthcare workers suffer more workplace violence and injury than any other industry. The AHA also states that 44 percent of nurses report an increase in physical violence since the pandemic and a majority 68 percent reported an increase in verbal abuse. Another survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians found that approximately 80 percent of physicians believe that emergency department violence has impacted patient care and safety. The survey found that 47 percent of emergency physicians said they have been personally assaulted at work.  

An April 2022 survey by National Nurses United found that nurses reported a 100 percent increase in workplace violence compared to a prior survey of nurses the previous year. The net effects of workplace violence and emotional trauma contributed to burnout, moral distress and injury.  

Another study by the National Institute of Health looked at experiences by 10,821 health care workers and found that 62.3 percent of attacks were on doctors, with 20 percent of attacks on nurses. Most of the cases were observed in outpatient clinics (34.8 percent), followed by emergency department (25.9 percent). 

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    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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