Summary: A man needing attention struggles to get past the paperwork and hypocrisy of the admitting nurse. (Written for the first service of a new church to help answer the question "Why another church?" Should make people evaluate why they are in a church, and what they expect for, and from, new attendees.)
Key words: Acceptance • Hospital • Heart • Pain • Hypocrisy
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 10min.
Actors: 1M, 1F
Jerry Needsome. Just a regular guy in need of some attention.
Nurse Nice: Just doing her job in the emergency room. A touch stereotypical/characterized. But not much.
Props:Stethoscope and other basic medical items. A clipboard with a lot of papers. Nurse should be in regular nurses outfit. Jerry should look pretty bad with lots of crude bandages.
(Jerry comes staggering in, stage left to right, his left shoe is missing and he's limping noticeably. His left arm is in a sling and his head is wrapped with a likewise makeshift bandage. Nurse Nice is going about her administrative duties and doesn't notice him until he speaks...)
Jerry: Excuse me, nurse. I think I need to see a Doctor.
Nurse: (Shocked at his appearance.) No Kidding! Good thing you made it to St. Acceptance Hospital (Shifts into her best "commercial" voice, hamming it up...) where "The Best is Still Not Good Enough!"
Jerry: Great. Can you save the commercials for later? And can I please see a doctor?
Nurse: Well, of course you can. Probably. Let's just fill out a few forms...
(Takes out clipboard with lots of pages.)
Jerry: Probably?! What do you mean probably? I need treatment, tests, cures, Tender Loving Care! I'm in PAIN!
Nurse: Well, of course you are. But we have to do our paperwork. We can't let just anybody in here now can we?
Jerry: We can't?!?! Please hurry. I didn't think I would make it here in the first place and I don't know how much longer I can take this, Nurse, uhhh...
Nurse: Nurse Nice. Mary Nice. This is a family owned hospital, you know. There's a lot of us Nice folk around here.
Jerry: That's really very nice, nurse...
Nurse: That's Nurse Nice, young man.
Jerry: Great. Can we get on with this please?
Nurse: Well, of course we can. Now, what's your name?
Jerry: Jerry. Jerry Needsome.
Nurse: Needsome. As in, You Need Some Help, right?!
(Laughs at her own pun and slaps Jerry on the bad arm.)
Jerry: (Cringing) Now more than ever!
Nurse: Ok. Next question. Who is your insurance company?
Jerry: I'm afraid I don't have any.
Nurse: No Insurance? Oh, my. This is not good. I don't know if we can help you with your complaint if you don't have...
Jerry: (Realizing trouble, changes tune.) My complaint?! My complaint is that I can't see a doctor!!!
Nurse: Mr. Needsome! Settle down. We can't accept any rowdy patients in our hospital. Please calm yourself or this application process is over. Now, what hurts?
(Jerry starts for his foot.)
Nurse continues: ...And I hope you don't say that something's wrong with your feet or legs because we just don't take people with feet and leg problems.
Jerry: (Stunned) You don't?
Nurse: Well, of course we don't. There's a feet and leg hospital just down the street that handles these kinds of problems. Now, once you've been accepted as a patient to St. Acceptance, we'll handle your feet problems, or any other problems you develop once you get here. We just don't take anybody new with feet or leg problems that they got somewhere else. (Notices the bare foot and Jerry still in half-reach for the foot.) Uh-oh. That's not a foot problem is it?
Jerry: This little thing. Of course not.
Nurse: Then what happened? Did you lose a shoe?
Jerry: What? Uh. Well, you see. I'm from West Virginia [or Kentucky or Ohio or any town or community at which you want to poke a little fun], and uh, actually I just FOUND a shoe. Only one. I can take it off if you want.
Nurse: (Suspicious but accepting) Well, if you're sure your foot's ok...
Jerry: Great. It's just great!
Nurse: All right. I do have to be careful. Some people think they can just walk in to any hospital just because they're sick. I was talking to a nurse over at the Arm hospital and...
Jerry: Excuse me, did you say the ARM hospital?
Nurse: Well, of course I did. That's where people with bad arms should... (Looking at his sling) Say, you don't have a bad arm do you?
Jerry: Bad Arm? Heavens no. (Removes arm from sling and blows his nose into it.) No... This is for a sinus problem.
Nurse: Sinus. Great. We have lots of people with sinus problems.
Jerry: You do?
Nurse: Sure. Sinus problems are wonderful. Makes people feel real bad on the inside but doesn't get too messy on the outside. (Touching his sling with a pencil) Usually. Now, do you have any other problems?
Jerry: (Reaching for his head.) Well...
Nurse: And I hope that's a sweatband on your head. Our sports department handles sweatband injuries -- as long as they're just on the surface.
Jerry: (Giving in.) Of course. I was training for the marathon before I came in here...
Nurse: Great. Then you're almost set. Anything else before we accept you as a St. Acceptance patient?
Jerry: There is one other problem.
Nurse: Well, of course there is. (Takes out a comb.) But here, you can use this comb and you'll be looking fine in no time.
Jerry: No, I was talking about my heart.
Nurse: Your heart?! What's wrong with your heart? It certainly looks okay from here.
Jerry: I'm not sure. It just seems to feel... empty inside. If I could just get into St. Acceptance, I'm sure someone here could help me.
Nurse: Mr. Needsome. When you came in here, you were a mess. I worked with you and now you're looking pretty normal. You were so close, but you have to understand, we just don't do hearts.
(Closes her clipboard and walks away as Jerry just watches.)
This script is available at no charge to church theatre groups who do not charge to watch the performance, and who include the author's details in an appropriate credit.