Posted on by Harshavardhan Kosireddy

Nursing Faculty Shares Medical Knowledge: A Trip to Armenia and Lebanon

Our faculty are deeply involved in their professions on campus, locally, and globally.  

Zarmine Naccashian, Ph.D., is Certified Diabetes Educator who is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. She is geriatric nurse practitioner who has established a community case management program and coordinated the care of  the chronically ill patient population in their home settings. For CSUN Nursing, she currently teaches Physical Assessment, Leadership, Ethics and Fundamentals in Nursing courses.

Last summer, Naccashian travelled to Armenia and Lebanon to share her expertise at the 6th International Medical Congress of Armenia (6IMCA). She presented on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, diabetes management clinical guideline updates, and virtual stroke education outcomes, to hundreds of nursing and medical professionals.

Here is her story about the trip:

From Los Angeles to Vienna, spending 10 hours of layover and brief touring the city along the Danube River, we finally made it to Yerevan, Armenia. The 6th International Medical Congress of Armenia (6IMCA) took place on July 6, 7, 8, 2023. Discipline specific pre-conference symposia, workshops and presentations had been taking place since the week before. 

Two pre-conference nursing symposia were repeated post-conference in the cities of Gyumri (Shirak Province) and Tilijan (Tavush Province). The Armenian American Nurses Association (AANA) in collaboration with the Armenian Nurses Association in Yerevan, have been coordinating pre-congress symposia for the past two decades. 

In addition to the general symposium, five hours of stroke education workshop, specifically designed for the neurology nurses, was added to the 6IMCA program schedule. I made a presentation on the Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System and was followed by Houry Tanashian, R.N., M.S.N., who spoke on Assessing and Identifying Symptoms of Stroke in the Emergency Room.  Care of Stroke Patients in the Intensive Care Unit was presented by Arous Kalendarian R.N., M.S.N.

Conference participants had the opportunity to train using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) tool following video presentation scenarios. The team met with the neurologist on duty, Dr. Lina Zubalova, and reviewed the current protocols. Then, on July 4, with more than 300 nurses in attendance, the general nursing symposium took place at the Mikaelyan Hospital Auditorium. 

At this event, I presented content about Diabetes management clinical guideline updates. Plenary sessions were rich with advanced scientific innovative topics, and it was my honor to present an abstract about virtual stroke education outcomes.

Next, we met with Ms. Anahit Avanesyan, Minister of Health, to discuss progress and upcoming interventions in stroke management infrastructure. We also talked about ways to enhance nursing proficiency as team clinicians. 

Leaving Yerevan by bus, we traveled to Shirak Province. It was a pleasant ride as we enjoyed the serene pastures of Talin village followed by Maralik village. Our destination was Gyumri Hospital where we were greeted by the head of the nurses, Arusyak Gevorgyan. Almost 250 nurses were in attendance and many had travelled from neighboring Lori Province. Following moderating the sessions, I was the last to present my section and we promptly concluded the symposium at 4:00 pm to allow out of town nurses to catch the last bus to their destinations. 

The following morning, the stroke team held a stroke education session, and when we arrived, there were already 28 nurses waiting in the hospital auditorium. Half of them had traveled from neighboring city of Vanatzor, Lori Province. We thank Dr. Zhora Baghdasaryan for his collaboration, support and invitation to the center. 

The team headed to the stroke unit for a quick tour and then had an open dialogue with hospital leadership and brainstormed future endeavors. On Thursday morning, we left for the city of Ijevan in the Tavush Province, another relaxing bus ride enjoying the view of tranquil waters of Lake Sevan. 

In Tavush, we met with the chief nurse at the municipality. Back in 2019, we had held our symposium at the municipality auditorium. But since that building was now under construction, our venue on this day was the Ijevan Cultural Center. More than 250 nurses were ready and waiting for the presentation. 

On July 14, Friday morning I paid a visit to American University of Armenia (AUA) and met with Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, Dean of Turpanjian College of Health Sciences and Dr. Nour Alleyan and explored collaborative opportunities between AUA and CSUN considering the existence of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions. 

After two weeks of extensive outreach endeavors, I travelled to my birthplace, Beirut, Lebanon where I was invited by the Education Department at the American University Medical Center, to deliver a lecture. It was my honor to have this opportunity to interact with practicing nurses and clinical instructors. 

Sp 2024
Zarmine Naccashian Ph.D., R.N.
Associate Professor, CSUN Nursing

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