Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist. Use ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy. Work with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia. Collect and analyze arterial blood gas samples. Read and evaluate physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols. Set equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols. Assess patients' response to treatments and modify treatments according to protocol if necessary. Perform diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of respiratory dysfunction in patients. Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms. Prepare or test devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines. Explain treatment procedures to patients. Administer breathing or oxygen procedures, such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments, or incentive spirometer treatments. Interview or examine patients to collect clinical data. Provide respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician. Clean, sterilize, check, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment. Recommend or review bedside procedures, x-rays, or laboratory tests. Follow and enforce safety rules applying to equipment. Teach or oversee other workers who provide respiratory care services. Teach patients how to use respiratory equipment at home.