A number of Mississippi colleges and universities offer X-ray technician programs. X-ray technicians are also known as medical radiologic technologists and radiographers. The minimum requirements for licensure in Mississippi are an associate degree and a passing score on the certification exam of either the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. Certificate and bachelor’s degree programs prepare radiologic technicians for specialized roles in the radiology field.
Associate Degree Programs
Nine colleges in Mississippi offer associate degrees in X-ray technician programs. Students may earn an Associate of Applied Science in radiologic technology from Hinds Community College in Raymond, Itawamba Community College in Tupelo, Meridian Community College in Meridian, Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier or Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville. Pearl River Community College in Poplarville and Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson each have an A.A.S. program in medical radiologic technology, and an A.A.S. in radiography is offered by Jones County Junior College in Ellisville.
Coursework in these programs includes academic core courses, radiologic technology courses and clinical work in area clinics and hospitals. All nine programs are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Bachelor’s Degree Program
The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson awards a "2+U" Bachelor of Science in radiologic sciences. Licensed, practicing X-ray technicians pursue two years of advanced-level coursework in radiologic technology beyond the associate degree to update their education and improve their clinical skills. The online courses allow students from across the state to pursue the bachelor's degree while working as X-ray technicians. The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers two post-baccalaureate certificate programs. The nuclear medicine technology program is a one-year, 30-hour program with coursework and clinical practicums in nuclear technology. Admission is limited to ARRT-registered or registry-eligible technicians who already hold a bachelor’s degree. This program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, and graduates are eligible for the ARRT and the NMTCB certification exams. The magnetic resonance imaging program also requires 30 hours as well as coursework in MRI technology and clinical practicums. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and be either registered or eligible for registration with ARRT. They also need to have completed CPR certification and eight hours of observation in an MRI department.
Admission into these programs is highly competitive and based on grades in prerequisite courses, ACT scores and other requirements. The associate degree programs are full-time, and students are discouraged from working outside of their coursework and clinical rotations. In addition, since radiation can adversely affect a fetus, women who are pregnant are often given the choice to defer their coursework and clinicals, to leave the program or to continue at their own risk. Finally, Mississippi requires criminal background checks for all health-care workers, including students. Felony convictions may disqualify a student from licensure or even result in expulsion from a program.