What to Expect

​In the Transplant/Nephrology Unit, a team of health care professionals will care for you during your stay and help you prepare for your discharge.

When You Arrive

An admitting clerk 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 UHN
  • 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

During Your Stay

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.

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 whole family. This person should be the one who will phone the Unit for updates and share this information with all the other family members and friends. Our staff will call this person if they need to talk to about your condition or care. We ask that your family spokesperson avoids calling from 7:00 am – 9:30 am, and from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, since this is a very busy time for the patients and staff.

Our nurses work 12 hour shifts, from 7:15 to 7:15. Nurses are available 24 hours a day but are generally busy from 7:00 to 8:00 during the change of shift. At the change of shift, you will be asked to participate in a bedside shift report, where one nurse is handing over your care to another nurse.

The nurses look after 4 or 5 patients at a time. They frequently check on patients throughout the day and night. If you need immediate assistance, please use the call bell available in your room.

You may have blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, 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.

Visitors may be asked to leave the room during certain procedures.

Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight in patient rooms. Visitors who are feeling sick or unwell should not come to the hospital. All visitors must wash their hands when entering or leaving a patient room.  Signs are posted on the patient's door if any special isolation precautions are needed.

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.

Family and friends can bring you food while in the hospital. Please check with your nurse to ensure that you are not on a restricted diet. Food can be stored in the fridge located in the pantries on the 7th and 10th floors. All food items left in the fridge should be labelled with your name and date. The ward clerk can provide you with labels upon request.

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. Before your discharge from the hospital, the pharmacist will provide you with a medication list that lists all of your medications, the reasons for taking them, and their schedule.

If you are a new transplant recipient, you and a family member will attend a self-medication class before your discharge. These classes are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, in the Patient Education Room on the 7th floor. One of the transplant pharmacists leads the class and teaches you about your new transplant medications. After you have attended the class, you will be responsible for taking these medications yourself (with the assistance of your nurse), so that you can practice in a safe environment.

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 pain.

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. Visitors must wash their hands when entering and leaving a patient room to prevent the spread of harmful infections. Signs will be posted on the patient's door if special precautions (such as gloves, gowns, masks, or goggles) are needed.

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?

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.

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.

Depending on the complexity of your discharge, you may or may not see the discharge coordinator. If you don't, your nurse will provide you with discharge instructions. The pharmacist will let you know if you need to get any new medications and provide you with an updated medication list.

If you need to learn how to check your blood sugar and/or give insulin, you will be taught by the Diabetes Educator before discharge. You will be given a blood glucose meter and insulin pen to practice while in hospital. Upon discharge, prescriptions will be written for your supplies.

Discharge For Newly Transplanted Patients

Our discharge coordinators will organize your discharge and teach you how to take care of your new transplant. They review the signs and symptoms of infection and rejection and can answer any questions you may have.

You will need an oral digital thermometer after discharge. You must check your temperature twice a day, when you wake up and before you go to sleep.

You will watch the following 4 teaching videos before discharge:

These videos review important information that you will need to know, in order to look after your transplant. You can watch these videos from the TV in your room, on the free education channel.

A secretary from the Ambulatory Transplant Centre will visit you and give you the following information:

  • Your transplant coordinator's name
  • Your first clinic appointment – between 2 – 10 days after discharge
  • Easy Call information, including your PIN number. This is your voicemail system to stay in contact with your transplant coordinator
  • UHN's Telehealth contact number
  • Medic-Alert order form
  • Schedule for blood work and a requisition for MDS/Life Labs

Before you leave, you will be given prescriptions to take to the Transplant Outpatient Pharmacy on the 12th floor. You will have many prescriptions at discharge so it is important to drop off your prescriptions as soon as possible, to give the pharmacy enough time to safely process and prepare your medications. The pharmacist will notify you when your medications are ready to be picked up. You must bring a credit or debit card to the pharmacy to cover any prescription costs such as co-pays or deductibles.

Let your nurse know once you have picked up your medications.  He or she will arrange for the unit pharmacist to review your medications and give you a medication list. It is important that you do not leave without your medication list.

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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