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Toronto Western Hospital Neurosciences Program


Patient and Family Orientation


Welcome to the Toronto Western Hospital Neuroscience Unit.  The Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) is a member of the University Health Network.  TWH is a University of Toronto Teaching Hospital, and is committed to providing excellence in patient care, health care delivery, research and teaching.

We have found that patients and family members have similar questions.  Answers to the most common questions are provided on this page.  If you have questions and are not sure who to ask please feel free to speak to your nurse, who will refer you to the appropriate team member.


The Health Care Team Members:

Who will I meet in the hospital?

You will meet many people during your stay.  Each has a special role.  


Neuroscience team members:

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced training.  Your ACNP works with your medical specialists, orders diagnostic tests, assesses your medications, teaches you and your family, and helps plan your discharge.



Chaplains from many faiths are available to offer religious/spiritual care and emotional support to patients and family members.  Requests for visits may be made through your nurse.


Community Care Coordinator

The community care coordinator assesses eligible patients who require assistance at home.  The coordinator will arrange the services required to meet your needs prior to discharge.  Additional services maybe purchased.



The dietitian is responsible for helping with special dietary needs.  You may receive instruction for special diets or assistance overcoming eating problems related to your condition.



A neurologist or neurosurgeon leads the health care team that provides your care while in hospital.  Residents and medical students will assist in your care.   Your attending doctor is responsible for making decisions about your treatment.



You will meet several nurses throughout your stay.  They play a key role in planning, providing, and coordinating your care.  Nurses are valuable resource for information.  They will help your communicate with you doctors and other team members.  Feel free to ask questions.


Occupational Therapist (OT)

The occupational therapist assesses your ability to complete tasks of everyday living and works towards your independence in these activities.  The OT will make recommendations for support services and equipment required for discharge.



A pharmacist will help your  doctor manage your medications and may visit you to check your drug history, verify allergies and provide counseling.  If you need information about your medications, please ask your nurse to arrange a visit by the pharmacist.


Physiotherapist (PT)

The physiotherapist will assess your physical ability and develop a treatment plan to address problems such as difficulty with movement or balance, and help you gain independence.  Your physiotherapist will work with you and the team to plan your discharge.


Respiratory Care Practitioner/Respiratory Therapist (RRCP/RT)

A respiratory therapist will help with breathing problems.  He or she may use oxygen or special exercises, and will teach you and your family about respiratory medications and treatments.


Social Worker

A social worker is available to offer emotional support during your hospitalization.  Social workers provide services before, during or after hospitalization, and will assist you with financial or work related issues as well as discharge plans.


Speech Language Pathologist

The speech language pathologist assesses communication and swallowing problems.  Recommendations will be made to help over come swallowing or communication difficulties and will provide education to you and your family.


Transportation Staff

Transportation staff will take you to other departments for tests, surgery or other treatments.


Ward Clerks

Ward clerks are located at the nurses' station and are your initial contact person on admission to the unit.  They are a good resource for your and your family and will provide you with information regarding appointments during hospitalization and discharge.