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Home / Patients & Visitors/ Visitors & Care Partners/ Patient Welcome Package

Patient Welcome Package

Welcome to St. Mary's. The following information will help you during your stay. As always, if you have any questions at all, please ask a member of our team who is happy to assist.

The Waterloo Wellington Patient Declaration of Values states that patients can expect their health care to include:

Patient-centred care that understands you are a whole person; treats you with compassion and respect; and includes your family and support system in your care.

A partnership with your care provider that shares responsibility and accountability with you; provides care and support to achieve your health goals; and considers all your health needs, connecting you to health and community services.

Communication that allows you to be heard in a safe and caring environment; provides clear health information that you can understand; and shares open and transparent information with you and your care teams.

Equitable care that puts your needs first regardless of your situation; eliminates barriers to receiving timely and safe services; and is free of prejudice, stigma and judgment.

Continuous improvement in health care that provides you with access to the best quality of care; increases access to new innovative technology and treatments; and contributes to your confidence and trust in the health system.

Tips to Improve Your Care

  1. Write down your questions and concerns and ask your healthcare team. Make sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment and recovery plan.  If you have questions about a treatment or test, feel free to ask what will take place.
  2. Be open and honest. Your care team will ask you lots of questions. It is safer to be honest even if it is uncomfortable for you.  
  3. Bring a family member or friend. Many patients find it helpful to ask a loved one to be there while they talk to the care team.  This person can help listen and write down important points for you.

St. Mary’s is committed to ensuring accessibility to hospital facilities and services for patients and their family members. If you require any of the documents on our website in other formats, please contact our Patient Experience Coordinator at 519-749-6578, ext. 6867. 

Wheelchairs can be found at the following locations:

  • Main Entrance/Lobby
  • Emergency Entrance

There are accessible washrooms located throughout the hospital (identifiable by the universal wheelchair symbol).

For Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing

TTY pay telephones are located in the basement of the hospital, adjacent to cafeteria and located in the Emergency Department

Interpretation Services

St. Mary’s provides a high-quality virtual interpretation service called VOYCE, which offers over 200 languages including American Sign Language (ASL). In person ASL interpretation services may be available upon request. Family member translation is not recommended as best practice in the health care setting.

Service Animals

Registered service animals are permitted in St. Mary’s. Service animals can be brought into any area of the hospital where permitted by our Infection Prevention and Control Department. For reasons of infection prevention and control the service animal must remain with their owner and in the control of their owner or a care partner at all times. Staff members are not able to support the care of a service animal. 

Learn more about Accessibility at St. Mary's.


Your room has a whiteboard that you can see from your bed. It will be updated daily. It will display your goals for the day. You and your family can also use it to ask questions and pass on information to your healthcare team.

Call Bell

Your bed has a call bell, which should be placed where you can easily reach it. When you push the call bell button, the team will be alerted and someone will check on you as soon as possible.

  • Have one family member for the healthcare team to talk with. You will be given a privacy code so that updates can be given to family. You decide who gets the code.  Anyone you give the privacy code to, will be able to receive personal information about you and your care. Ask your healthcare team about the privacy code.
  • Best time to call for information is after 10am. Please avoid calling between 6:30-7:30am and pm as this is when staff are changing shifts. 
  • You will also have access to a phone in your room. The phone extension will be found on the phone or ask your nurse. To call a patient phone dial 519-749-6578. EXT
  • Have someone bring in personal items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, comb/brush, slippers, razor/shaving cream, and change of clothes.

St. Mary's Visitor Parking Lot is located directly across from the hospital with the entrance located at 55 Spadina Road West. The Visitors' Lot has 18 accessible parking spots available for patients and visitors. Learn more about Visitor Parking at St. Mary's.

While in the hospital, you may be at a higher risk of falling because illness, surgery and medicines can weaken muscles and/or affect your balance and judgment. During your stay, we will ask you about your history of falls and assess your risk of falling. Ask your nurse about your risk of falling and what measures are being taken to help reduce it.

To reduce your likelihood of falling:

  • Use the call bell to get assistance before you get up if you need it
  • Always wear nonslip slippers or shoes; get up slowly
  • Before standing, sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes
  • Make sure you have a clear path to your chair or the bathroom before getting up

It is important that you follow all infection control instructions. If you are unsure, ask your healthcare team.

Hand Hygiene

Good hand hygiene is the single most important method of preventing the spread of microorganisms that can make us sick. Hand hygiene should be performed by patients and visitors using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Learn more: Infection Prevention and Control Information Sheet for Patients and Visitors

Room Options and Billing (subject to availability)*

  • Private rooms (one bed per room, private bathroom): $290 per day
  • Semi-Private rooms (two beds per room, shared bathroom for two patients): $250 per day
  • Standard Ward rooms (four beds per room, two shared bathrooms for four patients). Cost is covered for Ontario residents with valid provincial health insurance (OHIP).
  • Men and women may be placed in the same room when room capacity is limited.

*Infection prevention and control practices limit the ability to support private and semi-private bed requests, especially during times of high admission rates.

Wireless Internet Access

Free Wi-Fi is available to patients, families, and visitors throughout the hospital.

Choose “GUEST” and “I ACCEPT” (bottom of login page).

  • Physicians will be in charge of your care while you are here. This physician may change every few weeks depending on where you are admitted.
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP); work closely with your physician and other healthcare members.
  • RN and RPN nursing team
  • Clinical aide
  • Housekeeping
  • Communication Clerk
  • Physiotherapy (PT)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • Social Worker
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Spiritual Care
  • Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) 
  • Indigenous Patient Navigator (For anyone who self-identifies as First Nations, Metis or Inuit)

Consenting to Surgery and Other Procedures

Before undergoing any surgery or procedure, your physician/NP will give you information that you need to make an INFORMED decision and provide consent.   Read it carefully and make sure it has your correct identification information as well as the right information about the kind of surgery or procedure you will have. For surgical procedures, you should always confirm which procedure you are to undergo and where on the body it will take place. The area of your procedure should always be marked prior to surgery, when possible.

Your Wishes Matter

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a group of treatments administered when a  person’s breathing stops or when the heart stops beating. In most hospitals, CPR is provided unless there is a prior decision to withhold CPR. Talking with your doctor and health care team and those close to you can help you make a decision about receiving CPR. Some people are more likely to benefit from CPR than others. If you are generally healthy, CPR may offer you the chance to return to your usual activities. Some people, however, are unlikely to benefit at all. In those instances, CPR may do more harm than good. A decision not to have CPR does not affect any other medical treatment decisions.

It’s Your Choice: Advance Care Planning

Have you thought about the care you would want if you became seriously ill, were in a coma or couldn’t do things for yourself? What quality of life would be important to you? Who would speak for you if you were unable to speak for yourself (i.e., who would act as your substitute decision-maker)?  We recommend that you discuss your wishes with your loved ones and your doctors, know who your automatic substitute decision maker is and if you have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care, always bring a copy to the hospital any time you are admitted. Learn more about the Advance Care Planning process and identifying your substitute decision maker. 

Organ and Tissue Donation

Gifts of organs and tissue can help sustain or improve the quality of life for many people, especially those who are seriously ill. Trillium Health Partners collaborates with the Trillium Gift of Life Network to facilitate organ and tissue donations. You can express your wishes related to organ and tissue donation by registering online through the Trillium Gift of Life Network or by signing a donor card. You should inform your loved ones about your wishes so they are aware and can support your wishes in the future.

You should begin planning to go home from the hospital as soon as possible. You will be discharged when your healthcare team recommends home is the best place for you to complete your recovery.

Home may include a retirement home, assisted living facility or a more supportive environment. It may also be different than it was before you were admitted to the hospital. For example, you could be returning home with family, equipment and/or home care supports. Or we may recommend transferring to another care setting to complete your recovery.

If another setting is recommended, your doctor may designate you as requiring an “Alternate Level of Care” or ALC.  As an ALC patient, the clinical and discharge planning teams will continue to work with you as you await your discharge plan. An ALC copay is applied for ALC patients and will be discussed with you.

Be sure you understand:

  • The reason for your admission and any follow-up appointments
  • Any diet or activity restrictions
  • Any danger signs to watch for after your discharge
    • Changes to your medication
    • Whom to call with questions
    • Any community services that you might need to access

What should you do to prepare?

  • Please arrange to have someone pick you up on the day that you are discharged
  • Make a list of what you will need before you leave the hospital
  • Your nurse will review any instructions and prescriptions with you.

What can you do to help?

  • We encourage you to be an active participant in your care
  • Being an active partner in planning for your return home will allow you to do so safely and in a timely way

Discharge Procedures During Red Surges

During peak periods when we have more patients than we have beds (level red surges), our goal is to support your discharge process while trying to support other patients who are being admitted.

  • Once your discharge has been confirmed, you will be moved to a surge space or hallway while waiting for your transportation to arrive. This time should be approximately 60-90 minutes. Doing this frees up your room for a new patient so that they can receive the medical treatment that they require.
  • To continue to support you, during this time, monitoring will continue to be done by the unit that you are leaving, including giving you your medications, meals, etc. Any remaining discharge information will be provided during this time.

Across Ontario, patients are responsible for the full cost of their non-emergency transportation out of hospital, for all destinations, including home, retirement homes and long-term care facilities. The exception is if they are being transported to continue their current care at another destination.

The least costly option, wherever possible, is for patients to arrange non-emergency transportation with friends and family. Where that is not possible, a number of options exist (including taxi, public transportation and non-emergency patient transport vehicles). Rates will vary based on mode:

  • Stretcher Transportation: on average $150-$200 (might be more based on distance)
  • Taxi/Wheelchair Transportation: on average $20 within the city to over $50 outside the city.

For patients who need to leave the hospital on a stretcher or in a wheelchair, and have no other options, St. Mary’s staff will book transport. In these cases, patients will be sent an invoice for the cost of transportation and a $20 administration fee.


Ask for Help

We understand it becomes difficult staying at a hospital. You may start to feel alone, sad, frustrated etc. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. If you need someone to talk to or need activities to help you, please ask your nurse or talk to your healthcare team.

If you have a question, concern, compliment, or suggestion about the care you are receiving, please speak directly with your care team or ask to speak with the manager.

The Patient Experience Coordinator is also available to support you and your family during your stay. Your feedback is confidential, and your concerns are treated in a supportive and respectful way. Our goal is to support our patients and family with compassion and dignity and to ensure that your experience is a positive one.

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Patient Experience Coordinator | 519-749-6578 ext. 6867


Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know about your hospital experience by completing the short survey online on our website.