“GRC” stands for Golden Rule Care, my dream project.  It involves training material for Nurses and other care givers interested in learning better people skills.  I’ve developed, tested, and refined GRC clinical tools and ideas over the last ten years.

You can find GRC and related content in the Care Tips category. This page offers a brief overview and some background.

My research and experience support five crucial points:

1) Effective human relations involve learned skills that most people have only partially mastered,

2) These skills are readily trainable,

3) The benefits of such training accrue from the beginning of the process, and grow over time,

4) Much has been researched, refined, and proven in practice for many years: material more familiar within some professional circles than others, and

5) As it turns out, healthcare providers remain quite poorly trained in this area.  I see two main reasons.

First, in this age of highly specialized knowledge, it is common to see knowledge obvious within one specialty group completely unknown to another.  I have found tremendous potential in gathering knowledge outside of your group’s ‘box’ (“as in outside the box”), directly from another groups ‘box.’  You gain fresh, novel (to you) knowledge in this fashion, yet already refined and proven elsewhere, instead of reinventing the wheel or doing things the hard way.

Second, the ubiquitous medical model tends to drive our health care education, research, and practice. It inherently focuses attention on disease and dysfunction, and on parts over the whole.  Even in psychiatric work, disease, diagnoses, and symptoms play starring roles. In actuality, regardless of illness, normal aspects of human nature drive most decisions and behavior, as reflected in social psychology, cognitive science, etc.  As I often say:

Diseases don’t make decisions: people do.  

Diseases may distort decision-making or offer people seriously flawed information, but even the most impaired people still make decisions, and are open to the same social influences as anyone else.

Yet caregivers receive little if any formal training in human relations. What training they get is incomplete and limited, so they must rely largely on their unrefined and misinformed instincts, greatly impairing their ability to get things done. Patient relationships suffer, contributing to care giver stress, frustration, and legal liability. Research suggests that whether a patient likes and trusts a provider may well do more to shape legal liability than does care quality or competence?  Sub-optimal people skills also encourage treatment non-adherence: an ongoing, extremely costly national public health crisis.

As in chess, the rules of human relations are fairly simple and often familiar, yet one can build mastery throughout life and never fully exhaust their full potential.  Practice often involves learning to master dysfunctional instincts: to assess and act thoughtfully, instead of merely reacting automatically.  Human relations are endlessly fascinating.  This practice is gratifying, refreshing, and often rather pleasant.

Students learn how to more easily and efficiently build client rapport and coöperation, improve treatment adherence and outcomes, to have more fun and get more done, with less wasted time, less frustration, less stress, more confidence.  I make these promises confidently, based on my own clinical experience, that of students, and the results of many impressive figures in the past and present.  But it depends on your participation, your practice, to work.

I organize GRC into three parts, each with its own rule.

Hence the Three Rules of GRC:

ONE: Patients are people. People skills! My favorite rule.

TWO: Every patient is unique. Assessment and adaptation to individual needs on the fly.

THREE: Know your enemy. Illnesses and symptoms that affect thoughts and behavior.

The good stuff is in the details, though. Remember, you can find GRC and related content in the Care Tips category.

Thanks for your interest and attention to GRC!

Any ideas or stories would be greatly appreciated. Again, thanks and welcome – Greg


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