The following is a letter of appreciation from a friend who was a patient in a large metropolitan hospital—admitted from the emergency department after a motor vehicle accident, sent to the intensive care unit for a week, and discharged after a 5-week hospital stay.

I am not at my best when I come to you. I come to you weak and broken, with tubes coming out of every orifice. I am overwhelmed by the machines and the total environment around me. I am frightened, vulnerable, and in desperate need of your help. My life is in your hands. Even though I can’t speak or understand English, these are things I want you to know.

I am a proud, vital human being. I share experiences, a language, and values within my own culture that I am willing to share with you. Even though I may be a member of a specific...

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