Samir Elneser returns to school midlife to pursue Radiologic Technologist career

Samir Elneser was in his forties with a bachelor’s degree when a sudden layoff led him to the Radiologic Technology program at Metro Tech. During his two years in the R.T. program, he won gold medals at the state and international Future HealthCare Professionals of America (HOSA) competition; started and finished the program with 15 classmates he now considers close friends; and found what he knows will be his lifelong profession.

“Taking patient X-rays is much more involved than pressing a button. It requires creating a high level of patient comfort through proper positioning and communication. I also interact and engage with many different patients in a typical day, and I enjoy that diversity,” Elneser said.

Elneser is no stranger to diversity. Born in the United States to parents who immigrated from Columbia and Lebanon, he experienced many states growing up as his father grew his physician practice. Resistant to working in the medical field after graduating high school, Elneser opted for a career in marketing and retail instead, utilizing his bachelor’s degree in business information systems. In his late thirties, he met and married his wife, Muwaffaka, and credits her for gently nudging him into the medical field.

“They say with every successful man is an even more successful woman, and that’s true. I got certified as a nurse aide and while working in a hospital, I observed the R.T.s and became increasingly interested in thier profession. I found the R.T. program at Metro Tech, and the rest is history,” he said.

Elneser worked and attended Metro Tech’s Radiologic Technology program full-time, and in 2019 he graduated and received the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiography certification. He begins his new career as a R.T. this month and said the commitment of his Metro Tech teachers was key to his success.

“Metro Tech is invested in their students’ success. Not once did I consider quitting, even when the program was challenging, because I knew I had the support of my teachers. They held me and my classmates accountable while instilling the confidence we needed to be the best.”

Metro Tech's Radiologic Technology program is a full-time program open to adult students that offers challenging coursework with relevant clinical instruction in a variety of diagnostic settings. The average salary for an R.T. in Oklahoma is $23.85 per hour.