Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Directions)

Main Floor, behind the main elevators ​​​


Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm​


Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 4800

Arriving by Ambulance

​​an AmbulanceIf you come to the Princess Margaret by ambulance for a consultation or treatment, you may arrive at the Ambulance Waiting section of the Day Oncology Clinic. Once here, you will check in and staff will check and confirm your identification. After your appointments, you may return to the Ambulance Waiting section to wait for an ambulance to take you back to your home or home hospital.

It can be complex to transport people by ambulance. The ambulance may bring you to the hospital several hours before your appointment. After your appointments are over, you may need to wait again for your ambulance to pick you up.

Note: Central line blood collection and electrocardiograms (ECGs) are no longer performed in Day Oncology (Ambulance Waiting). If you need central line blood collection or outpatient ECG, check in at the Blood & Specimen Collection / ECG area on the Main Floor. Central line removals and central line dressing changes can still be completed in Day Oncology.​


What We Do​

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  • First stop for patients arriving for their appointment or treatments via ambulance.
  • Holding area for patients leaving our facility via ambulance.
  • By Referral Only:
  • ​​​​IV hydration, IV electrolyte replacemen​t, specialized IV drug administrations
  • Blood product transfusions


How to Get Referred

To become a patient at the Day Oncology Clinic​​, you need a referral from a staff member at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

How Long Does a Referral Take?

After we receive a referral, your clinic team will be contacted to confirm your appointment.​​​​​

Sending Patients to PM by Ambulance

Transferring facilities must review the information and guidelines provided here.

This will help ensure the safe and timely transfer of patients to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Upon arrival, ambulance patients can go to their appointment or to the Ambulance Waiting section of the Day Oncology Clinic on the main floor. Some patients arriving by ambulance may go directly to their clinic or treatment visit.

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Ambulance Waiting Section Hours of Operation: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday

Patient Status

All patients arriving by ambulance must be​ clinically stable:

  • Minimal risk that the medical condition will deteriorate during the transfer process
  • Vital signs (HR, BP, Temp, RR, Neuro signs) are within normal parameters

NOTE: Clinically unstable/acutely ill patients should not be transferred to Princess Margaret. Ambulatory clinics do not​ have the capacity to support unstable patients. If a patient requires acute care management, please contact the consulting Princess Margaret oncologist.


Patient Escort

All patients arriving by ambulance or transport service must be accompanied. See table below for details. Make sure that you have arranged the appropriate escort for the transfer and the duration of the patient's visit. Referring facilities must arrange return transportation. Princess Margaret staff in the Ambulance Waiting section of Day Oncology will confirm pick-up time with the transportation service selected by your organization.

Patient Care Required ​Type of Escort Required

​Oxygen Therapy:

  • Oxygen utilization
Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)

Tracheostomy suctioning/care:

  • Continuous IV infusion may be present (no high-risk drugs, e.g. insulin, vasopressors, heparin and high-dose electrolytes)
  • Patients who require medications (e.g. pain medication, antibiotics), the sending facility must provide the medication.
  • Patients who may require nursing care for another reason
Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
​For all other patients ​​Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) or Personal Support Worker (PSW)


Required information and supplies to accompany the patient

  • Patient Transfer Summary Form [PDF]
  • ​Ontario Health Insurance Card (OHIP)
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)/No cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation (No CPR) Documentation (if applicable)
  • Patient's current chart and list of medications they are taking
  • Diagnostic imaging, CD of X-rays, MRI, CT, etc.
  • Bagged lunch or meal for the patient
  • Ministry of Transportation (MT) number

NOTE: Princess Margaret is a scent free environment.

Contact the consulting physician’s office if you have any questions.


Wait Times

Type of Appointment Estimated Time Required
​New patient consult 2 - 6 hours
Radiation planning and treatment 3 - 5 hours
​Radiation treatment only 15 - 60 minutes
Radiation treatment and review 45 - 12​0 minutes
Radiation planning only 30 - 90 minutes
Systemic therapy Up to 8 hours
Procedure 2 hours
Follow-up appointment 2 - 3 hours

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

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​​When you arrive at the Ambulance Waiting Area, check in with the patient flow coordinator (PFC) at the front desk.To check in, you need your Government-issued health card (OHIP card).

To check in, write your name on the ECG sign-in sheet.

We do ECGs in the order people arrived at the Ambulance Waiting Area. When it is your turn, your name will be called and you will be taken to the ECG room. The technician will check your OHIP card to verify your name, date of birth and possibly your address. This is done to confirm your identity, so the proper testing will be done.

For the ECG, the technician will ask you to remove any jewellery you are wearing, including wedding rings. You will change into a hospital gown.

You will lie comfortably on a table and the technician will clean, and possibly shave, the areas on your body where the electrodes will be attached. Electrode discs will be placed on your chest, arms and legs. The technician may put a special ECG paste or alcohol-soaked pads between your skin and the electrodes.

After the electrodes are attached, the technician will perform the ECG. The technician will ask you to lie very still during the ECG, which will last for roughly 3 minutes. The ECG does not hurt.

When the ECG is over, the technician will remove the electrodes from your skin and wipe off the paste if any was used. The technician will then help you up from the bed, and you can change back into your clothing.


How Long Will Your Appointment Be?

An appointment at the Ambulance Waiting Area usually takes less than 1 hour.

We do our best to see you as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there may be a lineup of people ahead of you, or we may have to deal with a medical emergency.

We recommend that you come prepared for delays. For example, make sure that your arrangements for things like babysitting, elder care and parking can accommodate a longer than usual wait time.


Getting the Results

The results of your ECG will be available as soon as the test is done and entered into your electronic health record. Your doctor will be told that the results are available right away.

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Last reviewed: 10/10/2022
Last modified: 2/9/2024 9:24 AM
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