Dr. Kyle Kinduell has a strict routine when he comes home from work.
When his two kids run up for a hug, he tells them to stay back until he washes up – even though he has already taken his scrubs and shoes off in the garage.
The Parkview doctor has practiced internal hospital medicine for 17 years and said he never thought his career would cause him to worry about his family's safety.
Working during COVID-19, Kinduell said, has involved “lots of planning, hand-wringing and angst.”
“There's only so much you can do for a virus,” said Kinduell, who is based at Parkview Regional Medical Center, but sometimes works at Parkview Hospital Randallia.
There are three things Kinduell said he will most remember about working through the pandemic – the first being the initial fear of the coronavirus.
Kinduell also said he sees a clear disconnect between how sick his hospital patients are and how active the outside world is. He said he is concerned with the amount of people who are not maintaining CDC guidelines, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
The third thing Kinduell said he will remember is how well his team stepped up to the challenge.
“Parkview is a good health system to be at,” Kinduell said. “We had preparation. Other places did not have the time and support that we had.”
Kinduell said the hospital team at Parkview increased its shift availability by more than 50% in 2020 to manage the number of patients.
Nearly 30 doctors normally spend their 12-hour shifts working seven consecutive days at both Parkview Regional Medical Center and Parkview Hospital Randallia. As the number of patients increased, 12 more shifts were up for grabs each week for both existing doctors and new doctors, who were hired last year to meet needs.
“We have a very supportive environment here at Parkview,” Kinduell said, attributing the atmosphere to “the camaraderie among colleagues.”
Kinduell said he was one of the first on his team to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination. By the end of January, he had received both doses.
Beyond typical protocols, Kinduell has taken safety measures to protect himself, wife Mindy and his two children.
His strategy, he said, is pretending that everybody has it.
He wears more than one mask at a time, even when seeing patients without symptoms of COVID-19. The doctor said he has had no sickness during the pandemic.
Kinduell said 2020 was “a really unusual year,” but he feels fortunate to be a Parkview doctor.