TeamSTEPPS Fundamentals Course: Module 6

Mutual Support Exercise Sheet

TeamSTEPPS is a teamwork system developed jointly by the Department of Defense (DoD)and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to improve institutional collaboration and communication relating to patient safety.


With guidance from your TeamSTEPPS instructor, perform the following script as a demonstration of the concept of Mutual Support.

Two nurses are at the desk during a brief lull in a busy day. They notice another nurse racing busily from the supply area to the gurneys, glancing over at them as she passes.

Nurse #1: "Let's see whether Maureen can use some help"

Nurse #2: "My patient will be back from X Ray in just a few minutes, and I hate to get tied up. Besides, Maureen doesn't usually accept help from anyone."

Nurse #1: "Come with me. I’ll show you how it's done."

(Nurse #1 approaches Nurse #3.)

Nurse #1: "Maureen, I can see you're busy. I have about 5 minutes before my patient gets back from X Ray. I can start this IV for you while you tend to your other patient if you like."

Nurse #3: "Thanks. The IV is set up. You just need to start the line."

(Nurse 3 exits.)

Nurse #1: "The key to offering assistance is being clear about how much time you have and what tasks you're able to pick up."

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Page last reviewed March 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: TeamSTEPPS Fundamentals Course: Module 6. Content last reviewed March 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.