Dr. Annekathryn Goodman has written a great personal account of what she calls "touch rounds": Even without an interpreter, I can visit each cot and touch a face, an arm, or a hand and receive a touch in return. The patients and I develop our own handshake: a finger catch, thumb grip, fist pound, and finally the hand to the heart. This hand gesture causes general hilarity, and everyone wants to participate.
Read her touching story here:
New England Journal of Medicine
Volume 362:337 March 18, 2010 Number 11