Between the new country and the new baby, Maria Daniel was suffering from a bout of separation anxiety after leaving her fulfilling career behind in Europe. When Macomb’s Workforce and Continuing Education Schedule of Classes arrived at her house a little over a year ago, its pages offered up the perfect prescription.
“I really wanted to take something that I already knew about so I could start working as soon as possible,” says Daniel, who had been a pharmacy technician in her native Denmark before moving to Macomb County with her husband, a Michigan native. “I had no idea how pharmacies worked in the U.S.”
Enrolling in the Ambulatory Pharmacy Technician Program offered by Macomb’s Center for Health Careers was an easy decision to make. But since she had completed three years of post-secondary study as required in Denmark to be a pharmacy technician, she wondered if there was anything left to learn.
“I really received a lot of new information and I especially liked the teacher (David Valentine). He made the program,” says Daniel. “It was like a whole package – they explained everything and set up my externship.”
Daniel completed her 100-hour externship, as required by the program, at McLaren Hospital in Mount Clemens. That led to full-time employment following her graduation from the program last summer. And the afternoon shift that she works at the hospital meshes perfectly with her husband’s, so either mom or dad are always home with two-year-old Isabella.
“I love it,” says Daniel, who worked in retail pharmacies in Denmark. “In the hospital, I am taking calls from doctors and nurses. You feel like you are really saving a life. I walk in the hospital every day and think ‘another day, another difference.’”
In response to the growing need for hospital pharmacy technicians, Macomb is adding that as a specialty option to the program beginning this summer. But her training from Macomb combined with her externship at McLaren allowed Daniel to bypass the two years of hospital pharmacy experience that would have otherwise been required.
“If I hadn’t taken the program at Macomb, I would never have been able to work in a hospital pharmacy,” says Daniel, who intends to purse a doctor of pharmacy degree once Isabella is a little older. “And all this information I had, I would never have been able to use. This has been perfect.”