Hi, Lilith, I hear what you are saying and agree. The need for affirmation in nursing is a big one in the ER. ER tends to be a place beseiged with shell-shocking events. It's easy to retreat into what is comforting, seeing that we often find ourselves in need of emotional recharging. Once our needs are met, we can go out to meet the needs of others. People tend to rely on one another in the ER to meet those emotional needs. If they feel spread too thin, they might not feel as though they have anything left to give to the 'new kid,' which, I agree, is very sad, as well as very short-sighted.
I worked as a registry nurse for years and learned to make a place for myself in many settings. The most recent place was a 3 month assignment in CA, in an ER, where I figured I'd at least try to get to know some folks. They had relationships that were well established and I did feel as though I was intruding, at first. Then I tried several things to help the staff. All were well received and I became a part of the team. First, I bought a book, an empty journal type, with a pretty cover. I called it "The Compliment Book." Patients would tell me good things about the staff and I would write it into the book. I made the rest of the staff aware of its presence there on the shelf with the med manuals. It took a while, but soon, it was being used by other employees. The Head Nurse for the day would write a note to the staff following a difficult shift, pointing out that all had done well and had pulled together as a team. Whenever an MD was complimented (which was quite often), I wrote it in. Nothing elaborate, just a note, such as, "Dr. ......... took such good care of me last time I was here. He is very kind and caring. John T, 2/01/02" This book remains on the shelf, even though I have moved on. I hear that it is still in use! Secondly, I love to bake bread. ER nurses (and docs) love to eat bread! I would make up a couple of loaves and bring them warm from the oven with butter. M-m-m-m-m. Bread does something to our primal innards. We can all relate to it. And the aroma! It just naturally breaks down barriers. Maybe it just smells like Grandma's house. Anyway, it was a big hit.
Thirdly, PICTURES!! I brought my camera, got people to stand together and snapped close-ups of their smiling faces. A BIG hit! We're all HAMS at heart, anyway. This breaks down many walls. I made two books, one for them and one for the ER. The one for me, I placed pictures in a journal with an open page next to each photo. Then I handed the book to the person whose picture was there and asked for that one to write me a note. (I was leaving, so it was very appropriate). I had no idea how many very good friends I'd made in that three month period until I read their notes. I often reread that book and count it as one of my greatest TREASURES.
Hope these suggestions help!!