UW-Green Bay student shares hospital frontline experience; pride in the Phoenix family

UW-Green Bay senior Carolyn LaTour (Human Biology) shares her observations as a surgical technician in a local hospital. Concerning for her are PPE and staff shortages, and what increased COVID-19 cases can mean to local healthcare. She also shares her pride in her classmates and Phoenix family members for working to keep COVID-19 infection rates low on the four UW-Green Bay campuses.


My name is Carolyn LaTour. I am a senior at UWGB, and I’ve been working in healthcare for the past nine years as a surgical tech and a surgical first assist. I am majoring in human biology here at UWGB in hopes of becoming a physician assistant in the future.

As a surgical tech we get the operating room ready in the morning and throughout the day for surgeries and as a surgical first assist I assist the surgeons in the operating room as well.

My observations throughout the pandemic, at the hospital specifically, have been that we are low on our PPE and other supplies that are needed in the operating room and throughout the hospital. We’ve been short on staff throughout the pandemic the shortages in PPE and supplies is very stressful. We have to be very mindful of how much PPE we’re using and to preserve it throughout our day and shifts.

As COVID progresses, I do believe that we’re going to have to cancel more of our scheduled cases, unfortunately, due to the increased volume and the limited number of beds that are in the hospitals.

As part of the campus community and being a Phoenix, I’m very proud of the numbers and the low infection rate that we have at UWGB right now on campus. It just shows that we as students are taking this very seriously to ensure that our education in our classes and our in-person labs are still going to be going on.

To my fellow classmates and students, I just keep saying to wear your mask. Keep wearing your mask because you don’t know how it’s going to affect you, your family, your friends or our fellow classmates. We just want to keep everyone safe and to ensure that our education is still going to be present here, that in-person campus lectures are still going to go on.

As students we should feel very responsible as our contribution to the community with keeping the infection rates low. If we’re wearing our masks and keeping social distancing, at least you know you’re doing the part in the community and keeping the hospital infection rates lower.