Frequently asked questions

How long will my appointment take?

If it is your first visit to the clinic and depending on how many tests you have, you may be an hour or more. Usually, a return or follow-up visit is shorter-about thirty minutes or more depending on how many tests you are having done. Please leave lots of time to find parking, find the building and for any tests the doctor may order.

Are there any food services/retail outlets in the building?

Yes! The following are located on the Main Floor of the Health Care Centre:

  • Bento Nouveau (sushi restaurant)
  • Salad Loop (fruit, greens and other healthy treats)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Starbucks (coffee shop)
  • Zookaz Kaffe (sandwich café)

Can I eat before I have my breathing test?

Yes, but it is recommended that you refrain from having a large meal 1 hour prior to your test. Small meals/snacks are fine. If your physician has requested that you have a breathing test before and after taking salbutamol (ventolin inhaler) - it is a good idea to refrain from having any caffeine for 4 hours prior. The salbutamol works to stimulate your system and may have an additive effect to the caffeine.

I’m on oxygen. Can I use your oxygen while I’m at The Lung Centre?

No, we currently have one oxygen tank that is reserved for emergency resuscitation only. Please make sure you leave home with a full tank of oxygen in case the appointment takes longer than expected. We do not have the facility to fill a liquid oxygen tank. Please come prepared.

Will there be an interpreter available when I talk to the doctor?

No. Please bring a family member or friend to interpret for you.

How do I get a referral to a Respirologist (lung specialist) at The Lung Centre?

Your family doctor must refer you to one of the Respirologists. The referral may be faxed to 604-875-4695 and include at least a brief medical history, reason for referral and any recent test results (for example – chest x-ray, blood tests or breathing tests). An appointment will be given to your family doctor’s office for you.

I saw a doctor in the clinic some years ago. Can I see him/her again?

If it’s been more than six months since you last saw a doctor here in The Lung Centre, you need a re-referral from your family doctor. Your doctor’s office can call or fax a referral to the clinic. See click here for numbers. When your family doctor makes the referral, please ask them to request the doctor of your preference.

How do I get a referral to see the Asthma Educator?

You must be seen by a Respirologist first to get a referral to the Asthma Educator.

What will the Asthma Educator do?

The Asthma Educator will review asthma information with you and explain what your medications are for, how and when to use them and how to make changes in your environment to decrease exposure to your asthma triggers (things that make your asthma worse). You will also learn about your warning signs and symptoms, how to monitor your asthma at home using a peak flow meter and how to make adjustments to your medication when your asthma symptoms worsen by using an asthma action plan made specifically for you.

Where is The Lung Centre?

The Lung Centre is located on the 7th floor of the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, on the corner of Oak Street and West 12th Avenue. Please click here to see a map.

Where can I park?

The building will have a five-level, underground, public pay parkade with 600 spaces. The parkade entrance is located off Laurel Street. The parking rate is $3 per half an hour to a daily maximum of $18.75.

Parking spaces are limited in the immediate area. See Parking Map for more detailed information. You may have to park a few blocks away so please leave time to do this before your appointment. Remember to bring money for parking. Not all parking machines will take a credit card.

Are there stairs into the building?

Yes, there are stairs down to the entrances to the building from Oak Street and 12th Avenue.

Is there wheelchair access to the building?

Yes. Please enter from Laurel Street. If parking in the parkade you can access the building via the elevator.

Do I have to bring anything with me to my appointment?

If you are visiting the clinic for the first time, please come 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time so you can complete some in-take forms. Please bring your B.C. Care Card or any medical insurance information with you for billing purposes. You may also have been given some recent test results from a Pulmonary Function Test or a chest x-ray – please bring these with you and give them to the receptionist when you arrive and check in.

What are the hours at The Lung Centre?

The office hours are:
Monday - Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The walk-in laboratory hours are: Tuesday - Friday 8:30-4pm Closed for lunch between 11:30-12:30 (please make sure you arrive prior to closing with sufficient time to complete your tests) **Please note: the walk-in clinic is first-come, first-served. Occasionally the maximum number of patients for the day is exceeded - in these instances the walk-in laboratory will have to close early and you will be offered a booked appointment for a separate day**

What can I expect during a visit to The Lung Centre?

Many of our visitors have allergies. For this reason The Lung Centre is a scent-free environment and we kindly request that you refrain from wearing perfume or strongly scented body products to you appointment.

If it is your first time visiting The Lung Centre, when you check in at the reception area, you will be asked to confirm your contact information and personal health number so please have your Care Card with you.

After you check in at the Reception area, you will be asked to complete some forms and take a seat in the waiting room. Often times, you will be called to do a short breathing test (spirometry) before you see the doctor.

Once you’ve done the spirometry, the doctor will call you in. The doctor may have pre-ordered an allergy skin test or a blood test (arterial blood gas) or an oximetry, which we will make an effort to do before you see the doctor. These tests may have to be done after you see the doctor, before you leave The Lung Centre or on a separate day.

If it’s your first visit, the doctor will ask you questions to get a medical history and a history of the condition that made you come to the clinic. The doctor will examine you and listen to your lungs and may order some more tests. Some of these tests may be able to be done on the same day and others may need to be booked for another day.

The doctor may prescribe some medication or give you a sample of medication to try at home. Please make sure you are comfortable with the instructions for the medication before you leave the clinic. Have the directions written out for you if need be.

If you have asthma or COPD, you may be asked to see the Airways Educator to talk about your Asthma/COPD management and medications before you leave the clinic.

The doctor may want to see you again to check on your condition. A follow up appointment can usually be made for you at the Reception area before you leave The Lung Centre.