LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It sounds odd, but thanks to better medical technology and care patients in hospitals today are actually sicker than ever before.
The University of Louisville is helping hospitals meet those needs. From organ transplants to heart surgeries and trauma care there are some very sick patients in kentuckiana and across the country.
These types of patients need around the clock care and UofL's nursing program is stepping up to help provide it.
"My role starts when they immediately come into the open heart recovery room," said Courtney Shilmiller, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. "These patients are critically ill. They're on multiple drips."
Schilmiller is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. It's a master's level program that is in high demand.
"There's so many things we can do today to extend your life," said Cheryl Fugatte, Jewish Chief Nursing Officer. "With the technology that we have and so, the people that come in today are very critical."
And critical to their outcomes is the type of care they get.
It's why UofL School of Nursing is partnering with Jewish and University hospitals to offer an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program.
"Allows them to not only do routine everyday care, but to really take care of critically ill patients," said Dr. Mark Slaughter, Jewish Hospital Heart Surgeon.
Patients who need support 24-7.
The program comes at a time when there's a reported doctor shortage in Kentucky. It's a specialty program that's right on time.
"So to have somebody that you can work with on a daily basis, that is highly skilled, very intelligent, can do just about everything that you can do, that can spend the time with the patient," said Dr. Slaughter. "The patients are happier. They have better outcomes and it really allows you to deliver better care."
Courtney traveled to Indianapolis to get her speciality. The University of Kentucky offers a program as well. Starting this spring, nurses can enroll at UofL.