Stephanie Kokesh, OTD, OTR/L
In celebration of National Occupational Therapy Month, April’s blog posts dedicate themselves to CBD College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program. We sat down with Faculty member, Stephanie Kokesh, and learned more about OT professionals. By taking a look at their lives and experiences, we learn what it truly means to work in the field and instruct with passion.
Occupational Therapy Assistants are a dynamic and collaborative part of the healthcare team that works vigorously with patients to develop, recover and improve the skills of daily living after disease or injury. OTA’s have the ability to work in various environments including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health services.
Led by their dedicated director, Dr. Mary Kay Wolfe and her troupe of instructors, our CBD College OTA students are ready to make a difference. CBD would like to thank not only our great OTA faculty, but also our amazing OTA students for leading the way and setting the bar high for future CBD College OTA Students.
How many years have you been in the field? Have you always been an Occupational Therapist? Do you have a title?
I began OT school right after undergraduate, and have been in the field of OT for 7 years. Here at CBD, I am the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and a course instructor. I am in charge of placing students at clinical sites for the fieldwork portion of the program.
When did you start at CBD College?
I have been with CBD College since the beginning of the OTA program. I started in the Fall of 2014.
What led you to pursue instructing?
I knew that I always wanted to eventually teach, in addition to patient care. Teaching challenges me to continue my own learning, as well as it is rewarding to be able to contribute to the intellectual shaping of enthusiastic students while preparing them for a highly fulfilling career.
Who has been your greatest inspiration or mentor?
My greatest inspiration relating to my career is my clinical instructor who supervised me during my final fieldwork placement. Up until that point, believe it or not, I still wasn’t sure if OT was the right career for me. He changed my perspective entirely. He showed me that OT clinicians are intelligent, forward-thinking, assertive, well-rounded, and a strong presence within health care.
How are you involved with Occupational Therapy outside of CBD College?
I continue to practice clinically at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as well as I see home health clients (when I have time!). I am the Secretary for the Los Angeles OT Leadership Forum. I am involved in both the OT Association of CA (OTAC) and the American OT Association (AOTA). I enjoy attending and presenting at state and national conferences. I am the OT Representative for an online OT journal/blog (occupationaltherapycafe.com).
Do you have any advice for potential students interested in pursuing a career in OT or healthcare in general?
Even if you are not entirely sure what “OT” is or does, if you are genuinely caring, dedicated, hard-working, find satisfaction in helping others, and want a career that offers workforce diversity, it is likely that a career in OT or healthcare may suit you well.
How will you be celebrating National OT Month?
I will be attending the AOTA Conference in Philadelphia! It is the 100th Anniversary of OT this year! That’s a pretty big deal!