This is my first of many posts to come! I just got accepted into a new grad program in the PICU! :-D. I worked in peds at the same hospital in a desk capacity, and I ran into something that really kept me up this past week.
A patient got admitted with an ICH and things weren't looking too good. I didn't know the exact details, but all the details I got through the 9 year old brother who was really mature for someone his age. He would talk about how he wanted to either be a doctor or nurse when he grew up because of how the staff cared for his sister.
Over the course of 2 days we got to know each other fairly well. I let him do simple tasks at the desk like stapling papers. We made him a name tag and gave him a disposable stethoscope because he wanted to be involved.
Then one day he came up to me and I asked him how everything was going. In the calmest voice he told me that his sister had died and that she was in a better place where she couldn't feel any pain anymore. I was devastated. It was the first time where I didn't know what to say, other than ask him how he was doing. I was at a loss of words.
I love working in the PICU and dealing with families (did my preceptorship in the same unit that I got hired), but I always wonder how I will deal with those times where I will have to help families at their time of loss. Has anyone experienced a time where they were at a loss for words? How do you help those cope with a loss of a loved one, especially a sibling?