What to Expect

​​​​​In the Cardiac Short Stay Unit, a team of health care professionals will care for you during your stay and help you prepare for your discharge.​

If you are visiting from outside of the Toronto area, you may need to stay overnight in the city, before or after your procedure.

If English is not your first language, you must bring a friend or family member to interpret for you. They must be able to stay with you to interpret before and after the test or procedure.​

When You Arrive

A ward clerk will meet with you when you arrive. They will welcome you and:

  • Get your health card (OHIP card) number
  • Get insurance information or any other health benefits you may receive
  • Get any other relevant information, such as advance directives
  • Help you get settled and comfortable as quickly as possible
  • May ask you to wait in a waiting area for a brief period of time
  • Answer any questions you may have​

During Your Stay

On the day of your procedure you can expect to:

  • Wait a few hours before the procedure
  • Stay in bed for 3 to 6 hours after the procedure
  • Spend most of the day in the hospital
  • Go home the same day as the procedure (unless an overnight stay is required)

Monitoring Your Health
You will see different members of the health care team throughout the day. They will ask you how you are doing and answer any questions you may have. Your nurse is always available to assist you and to connect you with any other member of your health care team. Please just ask the nurse looking after you for assistance.

You may have blood tests, electrocardiograms, x-rays, CT scans, echocardiograms, ultrasounds​, 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.

We encourage you to have family members, friends and other supportive visitors during your stay. You are welcome to meet with visitors in your room, in the common lounge areas and in the visiting areas outdoors.

We also welcome visitors to accompany you from ​our Unit, to the Cardiovascular Investigations Unit (Cath Lab), where your test or procedure will take place. They may also stay with you before and right after your procedure. During the procedure, visitors will be asked to sit in the waiting room located just outside of the Cardiovascular Investigations Unit.

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​.

Eating and Drinking
You will have a chance to tell us about your special dietary needs 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 allergies, as well as the diet plan specified by your doctor. You will receive special instructions before you are admitted, regarding when you are allowed to eat and drink.

If you take medication that might impact your test or procedure, you will receive special instructions, before you are admitted, explaining the best time to take that medication.​

Once you are admitted, we will provide you with any medication that you currently take, plus any new medication that we order, at the required times.

For each medication, you should know:

  • The name of the medication
  • Why you need it
  • How much to take
  • When to take it
  • Any side effects it may cause

If you want to know more about your medications, you can ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse at any time.

Pain Management
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:

  • Decrease the amount of stress on your body
  • Promote healing
  • Decrease complications
  • Prevent the development of chronic or long-term pain

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:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Sharp
  • Achy
  • Throbbing

These words can help us understand and treat your pai​n.

Hand Washing
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 health care providers to wash or sanitize their hands using a gel hand sanitizer before examining you.

You can learn more about infection control at UHN​.

How Long Will Your Stay Be?

Your length of stay is generally discussed with you prior to your admission.  Following your procedure the length of your stay will be based on your health care team's assessment of your condition.

Preparing for Your Discharge

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 stay, we will give you discharge instructions, a letter outlining the procedure or test you had during your stay, 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.

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