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Global Columbus: Dawn Koch

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Dawn Koch
Dawn Koch

Age: 42

Primary language: Ilonggo, English

Title: Registered nurse at Four Seasons, a senior living community

Education: University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City, Philippines for a Bachelor of Science in nursing

Family: Father, Cesar Bomban Jr.; mother, Mila B. Bomban; husband, Andrew Koch; Four Seasons Health Care family. The residents and staff have been there for me through the years. They have been my inspiration, support and happiness since I relocated here in Columbus.

Hobbies: Photography, travel, shopping, singing and reading

● How and when did you come to live in Columbus?

Had to leave Colorado to be with my then-fiance, now-husband on Aug. 21, 2009.

● Tell me about your work.

I am working at one of the best long-term care facilities in Indiana, Four Seasons Health Care Center. I count it a blessing to be employed in a top-notch facility. I’m a night shift nurse. I am assigned to take care of residents with Alzheimer’s and those who can no longer do their activities of daily living due to other debilitating conditions.

● What do you like best about your job?

It is both rewarding and challenging. It is rewarding in the sense that I get to be part of the residents’ lives directly or indirectly.

I spend time with them, listen to their stories, pray with them or for them, celebrate their victories, hold their hands when they are afraid, give them a hug when they need one, sing to them when they are sad and, above all, keep them safe and comfortable. Challenging in a way that most of them do not have the ability to complain when they are in pain or uncomfortable due to the condition they have, that’s when I step in by being keen in observing their behaviors or the signs and symptoms they manifest.

Then I do something I have learned when I worked as the head nurse/manager for three years at a dialysis center in the Philippines. One of the qualities I possess as a nurse is I am a resident/patient advocate. It takes years of good nursing experience, knowledge and good understanding about the heart of nursing, compassion, dedication and selflessness to be an effective and efficient resident-advocate nurse.

My professional life lives by the motto of my alma mater, “Excellence with a soul, competence with a passion.”

● What were some of your first impressions of the U.S.?

I started in Denver, Colo., when I first came to the U.S. Some of these impressions are mostly gotten from there. Infinite opportunities. Food is cheap! A place where hardworking people thrive and are rewarded accordingly. Beautiful, beautiful scenery and awesome shopping malls. The world is so vast, airports don’t have terminal fees and dogs and cats are treated like members of the family. Health care is expensive, and other states can be reached on the interstate.

What were some of the most difficult things to adjust to?

Language. Driving on the interstate.

How have people reacted to you in Columbus?

Most of the people I encountered were nice, supportive, nurturing and friendly. Especially Jackie Casey, Jim Settle and Ruth Harrison. They are family to me.

What do you miss most about your home country?

Definitely the food.

How do you stay connected to your home culture and friends/family?

I email my friends in the Philippines, call my parents at least three times per week.

What advice do you have for newcomers to Columbus?

Since I am married to a local, he pretty much helped a lot in introducing me to the place so I didn’t have a hard time adjusting and finding the essential places to go for the daily necessities. I am an outgoing person. That being said, I didn’t hesitate to go up to a person and ask whatever the circumstance need be. And also the local paper has been one of the sources of information about Columbus that helped me through the years.

What’s your favorite place to visit and why?

Canada, particularly Victoria and Vancouver. I visited Canada in June 2013. I didn’t have any expectations and the place surprised me big time. In Vancouver, wherever I look I see water or mountains. Or both. Nice and friendly people, welcoming, clean, safe streets day or night, laid-back yet vibrant culture. Needless to say, the underground shopping mall was breathtaking, especially to a shopper like me. I enjoyed my time in Stanley Park, the soul of the city. Took pictures of authentic totem poles, the spectacular waterfront views of the Vancouver skyline. Stanley Park is slightly bigger than New York’s Central Park, making it the largest urban park in North America. Because it’s almost an island, Stanley Park is wrapped with a sea wall that offers five miles of spectacular waterfront views and making it a photographer’s playground. One of the places I visited near Victoria was the Butchart Gardens. I would like to visit the gardens again in a heartbeat. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada. Beautiful themed gardens each with beautiful vibrant flowers and elaborate landscapes. Nearly 1 million people stop by each year to meander along the property’s flower-lined paths. A must-visit place.

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