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Clinical Services Core (CSC) Nursing Services

CSC provides a renowned clinical research facility located within the world-class University of Utah Campus. Our team delivers expert research care and offers a range of clinical services. 

  • Our research nurses are trained in complex research observations, precise collection of specimens, and exemplary participant care. Our nurses use clinical judgment and foresight to anticipate variances in participant care. 
  • Our research nurses ensure the integrity of research data, including appropriate pharmacokinetic collection and storage. 
  • Our research nurses provide traditional clinical nursing care, in addition to protocol requirements, that aligns with the UUHC institutional guidelines (patient safety measures, quality measures). 
  • Our research nurses are CITI and HIPAA certified.  
  • The Clinical Services Core incorporates the CTSI, NIH, and FDA guideline knowledge in our practice. 
  • Protocol managers aid in successfully executing the protocol and enhancing collaboration and education between research teams and participants. 
  • Our research nurses promote quality and patient safety. Our nurses are experts at determining idiosyncrasies and unexpected results, evaluating adverse events (AE), intervening when necessary, and work with PIs to provide expert reporting. 
  • Our research nurses act as participant and family advocates, demonstrating an understanding of participant rights and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical research. 

Nursing Essential Functions

Resources provided include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Traditional Clinical Care for all ages (newborn through geriatric) 
  • Clinical measurements per protocol (Vital Signs, Height/Weight, Daily I/O, etc.) 
  • Venous access 
  • Specimen/Sample collections  
  • Specimen processing (simple spin and separate)  
  • Medication administration (injections, infusions, oral meds, etc.) 
  • Protocol specific procedures, including; but not limited to 
    • Skin biopsies 
    • Assistance with muscle/kidney/liver/fat biopsies 
    • Moderate sedation using propofol, versed, fentanyl 
    • Pediatric Sedation with Ketamine 
    • Assistance with endoscopic procedures 
  • Participant education 
  • Prep and recovery for sedated procedures 
  • OGTT studies 
  • IVGTT studies 
  • Insulin clamp studies 
  • YSI testing for immediate blood sugar values 
  • Pediatric neurocognitive assessment 
  • Telemetry 
  • EKG monitoring at the bedside 
  • Calorimetry 
  • Research nursing during exercise studies 
  • Research nursing during apheresis/plasmapheresis 

Bone Densitometry & Body Composition

Dual Energy Absorbiometry (DXA)

The bone and body composition suite operates a Hologic Discovery DXA scanner located in the 3NAC CSC Office. It is a flat-bed, C-arm scanner that uses fan-beam technology to acquire an areal image. DXA analyzes bone mass and body composition (fat and lean tissue) and can be used for children and adults. 

The Hologic Discovery DXA is capable of producing the following scan types: 

  • Total body (subregion analysis also available) 
  • A/P lumbar spine pair 
  • Supine lateral lumbar spine pair 
  • Vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) 
  • Proximal femur (Hip) 
  • Distal femur 
  • Forearm 

We use APEX software version 2.3 from Hologic, Inc. for scan analysis and an FDA–approved pediatric reference database. The FDA–approved pediatric reference database provides Z-scores for lumbar spine and whole-body bone mineral density (BMD) for children ages 3–20 years. Hip BMD Z-scores are provided for children ages 5–20 years.

Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT)

The bone and body composition suite also houses a Norland Stratec XCT 2000 pQCT. pQCT measures bone density at peripheral skeletal sites by acquiring a three-dimensional image. Using "CAT" scanner technology, pQCT provides a detailed analysis of both trabecular and cortical bone compartments at the forearm and tibia. Aside from volumetric bone mineral density, other parameters measured include bone mineral content, bone area, cortical thickness and strength, and cross-sectional muscle area. 

Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS)

The bone and body composition also houses a Sunlight Omnisense 8000 to evaluate bone strength via quantitative ultrasound (QUS). QUS operates on the axiom that the speed of sound (SOS) is directly proportional to the density of the material through which it travels. The speed at which the sound propagates through the bone is calculated as the time between sound transmission and receipt. 


SOS can be done at the mid-shaft tibia or 1/3 distal radius. Three to five consecutive measurement cycles are performed, after which SOS (m/s) is determined and an appropriate score (Z-score or T-score) is reported. QUS can be performed on adults, children, term and pre-term infants, is portable, not associated with ionizing radiation, and measurements can be completed on most participants within 30 minutes. 

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) may capture complementary information on adiposity and nutritional status that is not thoroughly captured by anthropometric indices, such as body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference or skinfold thickness. BIA is a simple and non-invasive method of measuring the body's resistance and cell capacitance to a small electrical current. This technology is based on the axiom that electrical conductivity is greater in fat-free mass (FFM) than fat mass since FFM contains nearly all of the body's fluids and electrolytes. Total body water (TWB) can be calculated from the resistance and capacitance, yielding an indirect measure of fat-free mass. 


Please contact Hillarie Slater for more information or questions about the bone densitometry and body composition suite services.