Hello KNB3715, I made the jump from med-surg to OR about 7 years ago and have never looked back. I have done many peer interviews and it was eye-opening to hear the responses from the job candidate. Our favorite questions were, "Why do you want to be a circulator?" and "Can you tell me basic duties of a circulator?" Yes, I know those sound like silly, basic questions, but it allowed us to see whether or not the person understood what an OR circulator actually does. Many prospective candidates, especially new graduates, really do not know what happens behind the double doors of the OR. That's ok to a point. We do not expect you to know the in's-and-out's of the job, but a job seeker should have the basic understanding of the position they are interviewing for.
Your basic nursing skills from med-surg are applicable, but truly I would focus more on your communication skills, being a team player, taking directions well, and being an advocate. Circulators are big advocates for the patient (they can't speak for themselves while anesthetized, right?!) While working in an OR, the RN is part of a team - surgeon, scrub tech or another RN who scrubs
, and CRNA and/or anesthesiologist will also be in the room. Communicating well with each other is imperative.
Also be prepared to possibly answer questions about dealing with strong personalities and taking criticism well. We tend to ask the job seeker a question or two about handling difficult situations. ORs can be high stress places with strong personality people, but it is so interesting and I learn something new everyday. Hope this helps in some way. Good luck!