I completely agree with Nalon1 that it is best not to get too attached. Luckily, I have always been the type of person who can feel extremely connected to someone in the moment, yet be able to say goodbye fairly easily when it's time to move on. Sometimes I wish I knew what happened to patients clinically, more so for my own knowledge than anything else. I have to say there is only one patient that I still think about, though. If I knew he eventually succumbed to his cancer, I would grieve. But, it wouldn't take away from any of the fulfillment I got from taking care of him. He was the most positive person I've ever met, making the most of every single day on this planet, and I know I helped him make the most of his stay in our ICU.
We do have a bulletin board in the staff break room where we post thank yous and updates from patients/families, and sometimes the stories are really neat. We just had an older gentleman send us a picture of him figure skating, holding his partner above his head. He had been a surgical patient. Of course, medical patients generally don't do as well, with some exceptions. I remember in nursing school
I had a patient who was as septic as someone can get. A year later, working as a nurse on the unit, I was thrilled to see a picture of him on the bulletin board. He had survived with bilateral BKAs to show for it, and the picture was him at physical therapy, walking on his new prostheses. Pretty cool.