In the Palliative Care Inpatient Unit, a team of health care professionals will care for you during your stay and help you prepare for your discharge.
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
- Health card (OHIP card)
- Information about private health insurance or other health benefits. If you have private health insurance or receive other health benefits, this may help to cover the cost of
preferred accommodation if you request to stay in a semi-private or private room.
- A copy of any advance directive (power of attorney or living will) you may have
- Contact details for other health care providers who have been involved in your care to help us ensure continuity in your care
- The names, addresses and telephone numbers of your family members, friends or other emergency contacts and your family doctor
- All your medications in their original bottles
- A complete list of medications you are currently taking, including prescription medications, non-prescription medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies
Clothing and Personal Items
- Loose, comfortable clothes to wear during the day that are easy to put on
- Clothes to sleep in, such as a nightgown or pajamas and a robe
- Socks and comfortable shoes with non-skid rubber soles, such as running shoes. If you have limited movement in your arms or hands, we recommend bringing shoes with Velcro straps.
- Slippers (rubber soles and closed backs are preferred)
- Toiletries, such as a toothbrush, tissues or lip and skin moisturizer. Please do not bring any
- Electrical supplies such as a razor or blow dryer. Please show your nurse any electrical items you bring, as items need to be checked to make sure they can be used safely in the inpatient service.
- Hearing aids and batteries, dentures and eyeglasses
- Walker, wheelchair or other mobility aids, labelled with your name and phone number
You May Also Want to Bring
- A cell phone and/or a phone card for local and long-distance calls.
- Small personal items, such as books or magazines.
- A personal device for music or entertainment, and headphones or earplugs so you do not disturb other patients. Free UHN guest wi-fi is available throughout the hospital.
- A small amount of money for newspapers, coffee or other small purchases in the hospital.
- Anything else that will make your stay more comfortable.
If you bring any electronic items to the hospital, the items must be cleared by the medical engineering department before they can be used. Please speak to your nurse to arrange this check.
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:
- Tell you about the services available while you are at Princess Margaret
- Get your health card (OHIP card) number
- Get information about any private insurance you may have or 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
- Answer any questions you may have
Princess Margaret is a teaching and research hospital linked with University of Toronto and the Michener Institute. We use a team approach to care for you. To make sure you are included in the team, the nurses will give a shift report at your bedside, if you agree. This allows you and your family to ask questions about your care.
Monitoring Your Health
Your health care 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 health care team at any other time, ask the nurse looking after you.
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.
Visiting hours are normally flexible but restrictions may be in place at this time. Check the UHN visitor policies when planning a visit.
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 »
Eating and Drinking
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 health care professionals order new medications during your stay, we will provide your medications 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.
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:
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 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 »
The length of your stay will be based on your health care 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.
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 inpatient stay, we will give you any 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.