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At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
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There are at UHN:
The Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) provides care for acutely ill patients who are experiencing problems relating to heart disease. Our nurses manage patients requiring life support machines, monitoring and special intravenous medications. As the provincial centre for adult congenital disease, patients experiencing problems in this area also come to the CICU.
Patients come to the CICU because they need highly skilled medical professionals and special modern technology and medicine.
The majority of our patients have been diagnosed with:
We also offer care in the areas of:
The Patient & Family Education Program at UHN offers valuable resources to help you understand your condition.
* These material(s) are also available in other languages.
More information on cardiac and heart Health:
health information section.
You can also find other services throughout UHN. Learn more about
patient and family services available throughout UHN.
For your stay, bring the following items. If you forget to bring anything with you or if you arrive in our inpatient unit after visiting our emergency department or transferring from another hospital, a friend or family member can bring the items after you have been admitted.
Documents and Information
Clothing and Personal Items
You may also want to bring:
We do not take responsibility for your money or valuables. If you choose to bring them into the hospital, you are doing so at your own risk.
An admitting clerk, intake coordinator or nurse will meet with you shortly after you arrive. They will welcome you and:
In order to allow our team to spend more time caring for you, we ask that you choose one (1) person to act as a spokesperson or contact person for your family. This person should be the one who will phone the CICU for updates and share this information with all the other family members and friends. CICU staff will call this person if they need to talk about your condition or care.
While the spokesperson can speak to the medical staff at any time, we will also arrange family meetings, as necessary. These meetings will be held in the CICU at a time when everyone can join in. Family meetings provide a chance for the members of the health care team and the family to meet and talk about your progress.
The unit may seem busy with alarms sounding and machines at each bedside. All of our patients are attached to heart monitors so our staff can closely watch their status.
An intravenous line is frequently used in CICU to give medicine, measure pressures and collect blood. Sometimes patients need more than one intravenous (IV) line.
Often patients need oxygen in the CICU, which can be given through a mask, with small tubes in the nostrils, or from a breathing machine.
You may have blood tests,
CT scans or other tests performed during your stay. If we recommend that you receive any of these tests, we will discuss them with you in advance, and we will meet with you afterward to discuss the results.
Early mobility, including moving, stretching and exercising, is important for cardiac patients in the CICU. The nursing staff will help you to mobilize and do simple exercises. A physiotherapist may also assess and treat you if needed. Family members are encouraged to get involved and help you to get moving.
Monitoring Your HealthYour healthcare team will see you every day. We will talk with you about how you are doing and answer any questions you may have. If you want to speak with a member of your healthcare team at any other time, ask the nurse looking after you.
We know that having your family close by is important to you. Our CICU staff will do their best to accommodate visits to the unit.
When visitors arrive at the hospital, they should go to the 2nd floor waiting room and call into the unit at extension 4066. The unit clerk will check with the nurse to be sure that it is a good time to visit. No visiting after 9:00 pm please, except in special cases.
The unit and patient rooms have limited space, so for safety reasons, we only allow 2 visitors at a time. Although young children can visit, they must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Learn more about
visiting patients at UHN »
Throughout our hospital, you and your family and other visitors can find a range of amenities to make your stay more enjoyable and comfortable. Learn more about
amenities at UHN hospitals.
You will have a chance to tell us about your food preferences and allergies when you are admitted to the hospital. This information will be entered into our computer system, and your meals will take into account your preferences and allergies, as well as the diet plan specified by your doctor.
If you are taking any medications before you enter the hospital or if our healthcare professionals order new medications during your stay, we will provide your medications at the required times. For each medication, you should know:
If you want to know more about your medications, you can ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse at any time.
As your body heals, you may experience some pain and discomfort. Our goal is to make sure that you have as little pain as possible.Managing your pain can help your recovery. Pain management can:
To manage your pain, we need to know what you are feeling. You can describe your pain on a number scale, where "0" means "no pain" and "10" means "the worst pain you can imagine." You can also describe your pain with words like:
These words can help us understand and treat your pain.
It is important to wash your hands well and often while you are in the hospital. Washing your hands will reduce the chances that you will become sick or get an infection.
It's okay to ask your doctor, nurse and other healthcare providers to wash or sanitize their hands using a gel hand sanitizer before examining you.
You can learn more about
infection control at UHN.
UHN hospitals offer flexible visiting hours. However, the CICU is closed to visitors for 2 hours each day: from 7:00 am - 8:00 am and from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
We know that being with your loved one is very important. Our CICU staff will do their very best to accommodate your visits to the unit.
When you arrive at the hospital, go to the 2nd floor waiting room and call the unit at extension 4066. The unit clerk will check with the nurse to be sure that it is a good time to visit. No visiting after 9:00 pm please, except in special cases. The unit and patient rooms have limited space, so for safety reasons, we only allow 2 visitors at a time. Although young children can visit, an adult must be with them at all times.
You can bring cards or small gifts for loved ones. If you would like to bring flowers, please ask the nurses first to be sure that it is okay.
Cell phones are not allowed in patient rooms while visiting the CICU, because cell phones can interfere with the performance of heart monitors. If you must use your cell phone, please only use it in the hallway or outside the unit. This rule also helps to keep the noise down, so patients get the rest they need. There are payphones in the hallway next to the waiting room. If the patient needs a phone in their room please ask the nurse for assistance. To make a call into a patient room please call the main desk first and ask for your family member by name.
Sometimes infections and illnesses can spread in the hospital by germs we carry on our hands. Hand sanitizer gel is available on the unit. Visitors should use it each time they enter and leave, as well as before and after touching their loved one. At times isolation precautions may be used when entering a patient's room to prevent the spread of a particular infection. All visitors should adhere to these isolation precautions. There will be signs explaining the precautions visitors should take such as wearing a mask or gown.
Please do not visit the CICU if you are feeling sick or have a cough, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, unexplained rash or anything you think is a cold or flu.
In the CICU a team of health care professionals will care for your loved one and help prepare for discharge, or for transfer to the cardiology ward.
When loved ones are seriously ill, we know this experience is stressful for the entire family. You can help us by telling us what you need. Family members need to take care of themselves by eating properly, getting enough sleep and taking time away from the hospital when needed. While away, your loved one will never be alone in the CICU.
We believe that patients and families should have access to information and be involved in our patient's plan of care. You are invited to attend the daily rounding process in CICU, where you'll have the opportunity to listen and understand your loved one's progress, ask questions, and share your perspective.
During the Patient's Stay
In order to allow our team to spend more time caring for your loved one, we ask that you choose one (1) person to act as a spokesperson or contact person for your family. This person should be the one who will phone the CICU for updates and share this information with all the other family members and friends. CICU staff will call this person if they need to talk about their loved one's condition or care.
While the spokesperson can speak to the medical staff at any time, we will also arrange family meetings, as necessary. These meetings will be held in the CICU at a time when everyone can join in. Family meetings provide a chance for the members of the health care team and the family to meet and talk about the patient's progress.
The length of your stay will be based on your healthcare team's assessment of your condition. Soon after you arrive on the unit, we will discuss with you and your family how long you will be staying. This may be reassessed every day when the doctors complete their rounds.
We will work with you and your family to start planning early for your discharge to help you make a safe and successful transition.
At the end of your CICU stay, we will let you know if you should be transferred to the cardiology ward for further recovery or if you can be discharged from our unit. If you are going home we will give you discharge instructions and a prescription for any medications you require.
If you have any questions about your discharge or your care needs before you leave the hospital, don't be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
Dr. Chris Overgaard
Interim Nurse Manager: Claire Holland
CardiologistsCardiologists are medical doctors who have special training in caring for patients with heart problems.
Cardiology Fellows and Medical ResidentsSenior Fellows and Residents train by working under the guidance of experienced cardiologists. Between 2 to 6 medical doctors in the CICU will provide you medical care 24 hours a day.
ConsultantsOther doctors may be contacted as needed to make sure the best possible care is given.
Charge NurseCharge nurses help with the flow of patients entering and leaving the unit as well as patient care.
ICU Registered NursesThis is a nurse with special training who will be with you 24 hours a day while in the ICU. Nurses working on our unit require critical care experience or successful course completion.
Nursing StudentsUHN is a teaching hospital. All nursing students in the unit get close supervision from teachers and staff. Students will introduce themselves to you so that you know who they are.
Nursing ManagerNurse managers are in charge of the unit and may be contacted by patients and their families, about any concerns not addressed by the bedside nurse or medical team.
Patient Care Coordinator (PCC)The PCC helps the manager with patient care. The PCC can also be contacted with any concerns not addressed by the bedside nurse or medical team.
Occupational TherapistsOccupational therapists help you to be more independent. They help you with everyday activities like eating, dressing and bathing.
PharmacistsPharmacists give information about the medicine you are taking. They also help to make sure you have the best medicine for your needs.
PhysiotherapistsPhysiotherapists create exercise programs to help keep the body strong and the lungs clear.
Registered DietitiansA dietician will make sure that you receive the best possible nutrition, either through the food you eat or through a feeding tube, if you are experiencing swallowing problems.
Respiratory therapistsRespiratory therapists take care of the ventilator (the breathing machine)and help patients breathe more comfortably.
Social WorkersSocial workers can provide family counseling, assistance and support, coordinate family conferences and talk about discharge-planning options.
Spiritual Care ProfessionalsSpiritual care providers support patients and families of all faiths.
Patient Care Assistants (PCA)Patient care assistants help the nurse with a patient's basic care, such as bathing and feeding, and mobility.
VolunteersVolunteers manage the waiting area and help to organize visits to the CVICU. They direct your family to other areas and services within the hospital.
Ward ClerkWard clerks provide administrative support and are typically the first person who patients meet when arriving in the unit.
Learn more about
health care professional trainees at UHN.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.