Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
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.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
There are at UHN:
The Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Toronto General is a 24-bed, level 3 closed critical care unit providing care to approximately 1000 patients annually. Our patients require advanced ventilation, technological and hemodynamic support to overcome the complex challenges of transplantation, complex medical and surgical conditions, shock syndrome, and multisystem organ failure.
A highly skilled inter-professional team provides leading-edge care to patients with:
You need to be seen, assessed and/or referred by the Intensivist or Critical Care Response Team to become a patient in MSICU.
You can also find other services throughout UHN. Learn more about
patient and family services available throughout UHN.
* These material(s) are also available in other languages.
The Intensive Care Unit can be a frightening experience. There are different types of equipment, machines, and alarms going off. You will be hooked up to monitors, equipment and administered medications.
The nursing-staff-to-patient ratio is 1:1. We have a lot of support staff and consulting teams that will be involved in patient care.
Our patients have varying illnesses and treatment requirements, and they respond differently to treatment. There may be good days and bad days with various lengths of hospital stay. Your condition may fluctuate, so it is important to take it one day at a time.
Patients are admitted either directly from surgery, the general ward, or emergently after consultation with the Critical Care Response Team. Upon your arrival, the ICU team will need time to settle you and get treatment started. There will be times when family members will be asked to wait outside in the waiting room while procedures are being completed.
There are many different reasons why patients are admitted to the MSICU. Treatment and care varies between patients. Medical-Surgical staff will update you on your progress daily. Family meetings are available upon request. Most of our patients are on different life support modalities, such as ventilators, intravenous drips/medications, and dialysis.
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.
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.
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.
UHN hospitals offer flexible visiting hours. 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.
We have a dedicated dietician in the MSICU who will follow your condition and assess when and if you are able to be fed. This is re-assessed on a daily basis.
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 be provided with your preferences and allergies, as well as the diet plan specified by your doctor taken into account.
Family members are not allowed to bring any food or drinks to the bedside or into the MSICU.
If you are taking any medications before you enter the hospital and when you are admitted to the MSICU, our Medical Team and Pharmacists will reconcile all home medications as soon as possible. All new medications ordered and new medications prescribed during your stay will be determined and assessed during daily rounds with the medical team and a pharmacist.
We determine patient allergies before any medications are administered.
If you want to know more about your medications, you can ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse at any time.
UHN has an Acute Pain Service, which will be involved in your care if needed. We will ensure your pain is managed.
As your body heals, you may experience some or a lot of pain and discomfort without being able to express your pain. Our goal is to make sure that you have as little pain as possible or are pain-free.
Most of our MSICU patients are not able to express pain symptoms themselves. The health care team will be managing and assessing your pain daily to ensure a pain-free experience, which will:
We use a special MSICU pain tool to manage your pain if you are unable to verbally state or point to the painful area.
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.
Our goal is to work with you to provide the best possible care for your loved one. We know that having a seriously ill friend or family member is very stressful. We will do our best to provide support. By working together as a team, we can help you and your loved one cope with this stressful situation.
Please ask one person to be the main contact with the health care team. This person will receive updates from the team and pass the information on to family or friends.
Choosing a spokesperson reduces confusion, protects patient privacy and lets the health care team focus on what's most important - caring for your loved one. Please provide us with the name and contact number of this person.
Every day, the health care team talks about how your loved one is doing and how to continue their care. These meetings are called
rounds. If the patient gives their consent (agrees), we welcome the family to attend rounds.
During rounds, you have a chance to:
If you are the
Power of Attorney or legal decision maker for the patient's health-related decisions, please speak to the bedside nurse if you want to take part in rounds. They can guide you through the process.
Patient confidentiality (privacy) is very important to us. Help us by keeping all information about your loved one and other patients private.
Sometimes, we need to speak to you and other family members in more detail about your loved one's care. In this case, we will arrange a family meeting. These meetings give you a chance to meet many of the team members and talk about your loved one's progress. We will work with you to schedule the meeting at a convenient time for everyone.
Friends and family are a very important part of the care of patients. Please speak to a member of the healthcare team about how you can help care for your loved one.
Some examples of how you can help include:
We can also teach you some ways to communicate with your loved one in case they are unable to talk. This is a very important and easy skill to learn.
You are an important part of your loved one's health care team, so you need to take care of yourself. Even though this is a stressful time, try to eat and sleep properly. Taking breaks away from the hospital is very important.
Remember: Your loved one will never be alone in the ICU.
There are various lengths of stay depending on the patient's needs and 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.
You will leave MSICU when stable and will be discharged either to an acute care unit or general ward.
We will work with you and your family to start planning early for your discharge to help you with a safe and successful transition.
At the end of your stay, 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.
Medical Director: Dr. Niall Ferguson
Nurse Manager: Denise Morris
Advanced Practice Nurse Educator: Klara Malkova
Patient Care Coordinators: Ingrid Daley, Tyler Glass, Diana Heng
Senior Professional Practice Leader: Elizabeth Gordon
Senior Clinical Director: Linda Flockhart
Director, Professional Practice: Leanna Graham
Inter-professional Team Members:
Charge Nurse Charge nurses help with the flow of patients and assist the bedside nurses throughout the day. They also work closely with the PCCs to guide decisions affecting the care of the patient and the unit 24 hours a day.
ICU Registered Nurses (RN)This is a nurse with special critical care training who will assist in the care of your loved one 24 hours a day while in the ICU.
Nursing StudentsUHN is a teaching hospital. All nursing students in the unit get close supervision from ICU Facilitators and nursing staff. Students will be identifiable by their name tags.
Nurse 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 acts as a resource for the inter-professional team and nurse manager. PCC is a key leadership position. PCC acts as a mentor to provide direction, development and preceptorship to the nursing team. The PCC can also be contacted with any concerns if the nurse manager is unavailable or cannot be addressed by the bedside nurse or medical team. PCCs are available 24 hours a day in critical care.
Medical students, residents and fellows also may be part of our team. Learn more about
health care professional trainees at UHN.
Registered DietitiansMSICU has a dedicated dietician who will ensure a patient's nutritional needs are met throughout their ICU stay.
Occupational TherapistsMSICU has one dedicated Occupational therapist who provides care to ensure a patient's rehabilitation needs are met while in the ICU. In the ICU, occupational therapists provide splints that prevent muscle tightening and maintain proper positioning of hands and feet.
PharmacistsMSICU has two full-time and 1-part-time dedicated pharmacists who work with the inter-professional team to ensure the proper medications are ordered and managed during a patient's critical care stay.
PhysiotherapistsMSICU has two dedicated physiotherapists who work with patients to provide rehabilitation care to maintain and improve strength in the limbs and to assist in keeping the lungs clear while in critical care.
Respiratory Therapists (RT)The respiratory therapist is responsible for the "breathing machine" (ventilator) and will assess and manage a patient's breathing status daily while admitted. Respiratory Therapists work closely with the inter-professional team to ensure a patient's breathing needs are managed throughout their critical care stay.
Social WorkersMSICU has one dedicated Social worker who provides family counseling, assistance and support for patients and their loved ones. Our social worker also coordinates family meetings with the medical team regularly to update the family on a patient's progress and care.
Spiritual Care ProfessionalsMSICU has one dedicated spiritual care professional who will provide support for patients and their family during their stay. Spiritual care professionals work with all faiths.
Patient Care Assistants (PCA) Patient care assistants work with the nursing staff and assist with the care of patients, such as bathing, feeding, turning and mobility. MSICU has 24-hour PCA coverage.
VolunteersVolunteers manage the waiting area and help to organize visits to the MSICU. They direct your family to other areas and services within the hospital.
Ward ClerkMSICU has 24-hour ward clerk coverage who provide administrative support and are typically the first person loved ones will contact with when they call or visit the MSICU.
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.